The drafting of this action has taken into consideration the “After-LIFE Conservation Plan” as detailed in the EC LIFE Programme web site scheme. This scheme will be followed for drafting the project Conservation Plan filling in the model with the specific content of the initiative.
An “After-LIFE Conservation Plan” will be drafted as a separate chapter of the final report. It will be presented in English, in paper and electronic format. This Plan is aimed at
1. Present an overview of the project history and an assessment of the situation at the end of the project
2. Define the after-LIFE objectives and meth¬odology
3. Identify the funding needs and the sources of funds
4. Ensure respect for LIFE and Natura 2000 requirements.
The 4 above mentioned aspects will be specified as follows
1. The project will choose the appropriate length and level of detail of its plan, but try to present the project’s long-term conservation objectives as concisely as possible. Aim for 5-15 pages, although greater detail may be necessary. Ideally, the reports should begin with:
• A brief project history – providing an overview of the actions carried out to ‘project end date’, highlighting the main achievements and key challenges
• Current situation – following the end of the project, describe the actual situation of the project and the site(s). A SWOT analysis should be used here to facilitate an assessment of the current situation and to help identify future aims
SWOT – an acronym for ‘strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats’ is a strategic planning tool often used by projects and businesses. The aim is to identify:
• Strengths: those attributes of the project, the project team, and the site (s) that have aided or can aid in achieving the project’s objectives
• Weaknesses: those attributes of the project, the project team and the site(s) that have harmed or can harm the project’s potential to achieve its objectives
• Opportunities: external conditions that might be helpful in achieving the project’s objectives
• Threats: external conditions that might be harmful to achieving the project’s objectives.
2. The after-LIFE objectives and methodology
Based on the SWOT analysis, aim to catego¬rise any issues, problems, challenges or needs remaining after the end of LIFE funding:
Conservation priorities: what are the main conservation needs of the site(s) and how can these be prioritised to guide future action?
Some of the needs should be assessed by a monitoring plan
Capacity needs of the project team: will you need to depend on volunteers, and do you have enough volunteers? Do you have the necessary level of expertise and knowledge in your team, or will you have to expand, reduce, or adapt your team?
Institutional issues: there may be issues relating to the various institutions that have an impact on your project. National park systems, regional institutions, local administrations, monitoring and management authorities, conservation societies, campaign groups, etc. Are the required institutions in place? Are there capacity challenges in these institutions? Is there a coherent decision-making process relating to these institutions?
• Political challenges: environmental conservation is often a controversial issue. Are there political challenges presented by local stakeholders, campaign groups, municipal politicians, businesses or even at the national or international levels? Is there support or resistance at the municipal, regional, national or international level for what you are doing?
This exercise should make it easier to define future objectives and to develop the methodology to be used to achieve these objectives. The methodology should include a description of how conservation activities are planned to
continue and to be developed after the end of the project, and how the longer-term management of the project site(s) will be assured.
3. Financial outlook
Conservation projects cost money, and in the absence of LIFE funding other sources of funds will need to be considered. Develop a detailed estimate of your financial requirements, identifying your major budgetary needs and how have they changed. Examine whether your current sources of funding will be sufficient to meet your ongoing needs.
On the basis of this ‘financial outlook’, present a summary of how future strategies will be funded.
4. Specific LIFE and Nature 2000 requirements.
There are three specific requirements for the content of the After-LIFE Conservation Plan.
Namely, the plan should:
Be produced in both print and electronic format
Ideally, be published in English, but the national language is also acceptable.
Adhere to LIFE and Nature 2000 requirements – i.e. clearly reference LIFE financial support and include the LIFE logo. As for all LIFE Nature communications’ material, the after-LIFE conservation plan must also bear the Nature 2000 logo.