Taking for basis a participated reflection that started with the aim of preparing a proposal for the former call with identical objectives – a target not achieved as the proposal’s structure, partnership and co-financing schemes were not definitively stabilized by the deadline of the call – this project seeks a set of combined objectives, which directly fit to those announced with the call.

Currently set objectives include:

overall deployment of a minimum of 175 European Solidarity Corps (ESC) volunteers on tasks/activities focusing on environmental protection, nature conservation and restoration of natural areas and ecosystems (mainly N2000 sites and species/habitats protected by the Birds and Habitats Directive)

active involvement of 9 Portuguese organizations with different aims and national coverage on deployment/management of ESC volunteers (1 national authority for environmental policies, 1 local public administration, 4 environmental NGO’s with complimentary aims, 1 national umbrella organization gathering firms with corporate sustainable development policies, 1 association gathering public/private bodies developing ecotourism services/products and 1 SME from the media/communication sector)

increased offer of opportunities for ESC volunteers to gain valuable learning experience and develop their potential, taking for basis a diverse range of potential activities to be undertaken with each of the hosting organizations (including training to undertake them) and the design and test of an innovative joint volunteer program which fosters “rotation” among organizations and a larger number of skills and experiences (the latter embracing at least 30 volunteers)

increased internal capacitation of the participating organizations to leverage their aims, namely by using the above referred “rotating” scheme, and the ESC volunteers, as a vehicle for additional knowledge and practices exchange among organizations

increased capacity built and support to ongoing LIFE projects with the extra workforce and tasks to be delivered by volunteers, including direct support to 4 ongoing LIFE projects:
• assessment of the potential impact of ESC volunteers in environment protection activities, especially by focusing on using their extra work to foster and improve existing volunteering programs directed at other target audiences;
• increased awareness of organizations managing N2000 Sites about the opportunities offered by the European Solidarity Corps for maintaining and restoring this biodiversity network across Europe;
• increased cooperation and experience exchange, including with land owners, farmers and firms, in the context of rural development support to environmental protection, nature conservation and restoration of natural areas and ecosystems.

In addition, to these goals – which directly tackle those of the call -, the project also foresees to:

promote combined work of ESC volunteers with volunteers coming from complimentary target audiences, including 2.090 external volunteers expected to be engaged with the project works

increase and foster cooperation of the project beneficiaries with an additional universe of at least 105 external organizations (private companies, public and non-profit organizations, including those from the third sector, and landowners)

set the basis and anchor for operation of a solid post-project joint volunteering program directed at hosting ESC volunteers for nature conservation (keeping as participating organizations the current associated beneficiaries but expanding the range to other private companies, public and non-profit organizations, including environmental NGO’s and those dealing with the third sector)

Enquadramento LIFE

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.
LIFE began in 1992 and to date there have been four complete phases of the programme (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999, LIFE III: 2000-2006 and LIFE+: 2007-2013). During this period, LIFE has co-financed some 3954 projects across the EU, contributing approximately €3.1 billion to the protection of the environment.

The European Commission (DG Environment and DG Climate Action) manages the LIFE programme. The Commission has delegated the implementation of many components of the LIFE programme to the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). External selection, monitoring and communication teams provide assistance to the Commission and EASME. The European Investment Bank will manage the two new financial instruments (NCFF and PF4EE).

Políticas Europeias


The goals of the European Union are:

  • promote peace, its values and the well-being of its citizens
  • offer freedom, security and justice without internal borders
  • sustainable development based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive market economy with full
  • employment and social progress, and environmental protection
  • combat social exclusion and discrimination
  • promote scientific and technological progress
  • enhance economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity among EU countries
  • respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity
  • establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro.


The EU values are common to the EU countries in a society in which inclusion, tolerance, justice, solidarity and non-discrimination prevail. These values are an integral part of our European way of life:

Human Dignity

Freedom of movement gives citizens the right to move and reside freely within the Union. Individual freedoms such as respect for private life, freedom of thought, religion, assembly, expression and information are protected by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.


Freedom of movement gives citizens the right to move and reside freely within the Union. Individual freedoms such as respect for private life, freedom of thought, religion, assembly, expression and information are protected by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.


The functioning of the EU is founded on representative democracy. Being a European citizen also means enjoying political rights. Every adult EU citizen has the right to stand as a candidate and to vote in elections to the European Parliament. EU citizens have the right to stand as candidate and to vote in their country of residence, or in their country of origin.


Equality is about equal rights for all citizens before the law. The principle of equality between women and men underpins all European policies and is the basis for European integration. It applies in all areas. The principle of equal pay for equal work became part of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Although inequalities still exist, the EU has made significant progress.

Rule of law

The EU is based on the rule of law. Everything the EU does is founded on treaties, voluntarily and democratically agreed by its EU countries. Law and justice are upheld by an independent judiciary. The EU countries gave final jurisdiction to the European Court of Justice which judgements have to be respected by all.

Human Rights

Human rights are protected by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. These cover the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, the right to the protection of your personal data, and or the right to get access to justice.

These goals and values form the basis of the EU and are laid out in the Lisbon Treaty and the EU Charter of fundamental rights.

In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

The European Union is a unique economic and political union between 28 EU countries that together cover much of the continent.
The predecessor of the EU was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea being that countries that trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict.

The result was the European Economic Community (EEC), created in 1958, and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Since then, 22 other members joined and a huge single market (also known as the ‘internal’ market) has been created and continues to develop towards its full potential.

What began as a purely economic union has evolved into an organization spanning policy areas, from climate, environment and health to external relations and security, justice and migration. A name change from the European Economic Community (EEC) to the European Union (EU) in 1993 reflected this.

The EU has delivered more than half a century of peace, stability and prosperity, helped raise living standards and launched a single European currency: the euro. More than 340 million EU citizens in 19 countries now use it as their currency and enjoy its benefits.

Thanks to the abolition of border controls between EU countries, people can travel freely throughout most of the continent. And it has become much easier to live, work and travel abroad in Europe. All EU citizens have the right and freedom to choose in which EU country they want to study, work or retire. Every EU country must treat EU citizens in exactly the same way as its own citizens for employment, social security and tax purposes.

The EU’s main economic engine is the single market. It enables most goods, services, money and people to move freely. The EU aims to develop this huge resource to other areas like energy, knowledge and capital markets to ensure that Europeans can draw the maximum benefit from it.

The EU remains focused on making its governing institutions more transparent and democratic. Decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen.

More powers have been given to the directly elected European Parliament, while national parliaments play a greater role, working alongside the European institutions.

The EU is governed by the principle of representative democracy, with citizens directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament and Member States represented in the European Council and the Council of the EU.

European citizens are encouraged to contribute to the democratic life of the Union by giving their views on EU policies during their development or suggest improvements to existing laws and policies. The European citizens’ initiative empowers citizens to have a greater say on EU policies that affect their lives. Citizens can also submit complaints and enquiries concerning the application of EU law.

The EU in the world


The European Union is the largest trade block in the world. It is the world’s biggest exporter of manufactured goods and services, and the biggest import market for over 100 countries.

Free trade among its members was one of the EU’s founding principles. This is possible thanks to the single market. Beyond its borders, the EU is also committed to liberalising world trade.

Humanitarian aid

The EU is committed to helping victims of man-made and natural disasters worldwide and supports over 120 million people each year. Collectively, the EU and its constituent countries are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid.

Diplomacy and security

The EU plays an important role in diplomacy and works to foster stability, security and prosperity, democracy, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law at international level.

Locais de Intervenção

N2000 Sites directly targeted by conservation works of this proposal include, interventions for improvement of habitats (about 91 ha) in:

  • SCI “Serra da Freita e Arada” (PTCON0047) and SCI “Rio Paiva” (PTCON0059), in the case of MONTIS;
  • SCI “Monfurado” (PTCON0031) and SCI “Cabrela” (PTCON0033), in the case of MARCA;
  • SCI “Peniche/Santa Cruz” (PTCON0056), in the case of MTV;
  • SCI “Sintra/Cascais” (PTCON008) and SCI “Alvão/Marão” (PTCON003) in the case of P1A;
  • “Costa Sudoeste” (SCI, PTCON0012 and SPA, PTZPE0015), in the case of RV;
  • SPA’s “Ilhas Berlengas” (PTZPE0009), “Pico da Vara / Ribeira do Guilherme – Ilha de S. Miguel (PTZPE0033) and “Lagoa Pequena” (PTZPE0049), SCI’s “Serra da Tronqueira / Planalto dos Graminhais” (PTMIG0024) and “Fernão Ferro / Lagoa de Albufeira” (PTCON0054), in the case of SPEA (to highlight that this includes sites outsider continental Portugal, in Azores and Madeira Macaronesian bioregions);
  • “Costa Sudoeste” (SCI, PTCON0012 and SPA, PTZPE0015), “Monchique” (SCI and SPA, PTCON0037), “Ria Formosa/Castro Marim” (SCI, PTCON0013), “Ria Formosa” (SPA, PTZPE0017), “Sapais de Castro Marim” (SPA, PTZPE0018) and “Guadiana” (SCI, PTCON0036), in the case of APA-ARH-ALG.

In addition to these, taking for basis implementation of targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, a set of works are also foreseen in areas that are external to N2000. These are foreseen either to tackle problems affecting N2000 Sites (and/or the species and habitats protected by the Birds and Habitats Directives) as well as to promote restoration and conservation of land that is relevant for biodiversity conservation. This includes work in rural land, including organic based farms, land with long-term agreements for purposes of conservation and land classified for local protection under the Portuguese regime of Protected Areas. Such works will deal with plots of land in the municipalities of Montemor-o-Novo (by MARCA and MONTIS), São Pedro do Sul and Vouzela (by MONTIS) Vila Pouca de Aguiar (by P1A) and Torres Vedras (by MTV).

Globally, the total concrete intervention area is however lower to that compared for intervention within N2000 (3 ha).

Estrutura do Projeto

Co-Definition of Joint Volunteering Program and Preparation of Individual Volunteering Plans (action A.1, having for relevant outputs Individual Volunteering Plans to support engagement and deployment of each volunteer, and the operational detailing of the activities to be proposed/offered under actions A.3 to A.11 by the involved beneficiaries);

Updating Information on Concrete Conservation Areas and Detailing Conservation Activities/Tasks (action A.2, having for relevant outputs the exact definition of plots to be intervened and needed volunteer conservation activities, in link with outputs from action A.1).

Once these are ended (i.e. from July 2018 and on), the concrete conservation activities are expected to start and be undertaken on field, with the appropriate deployment of volunteers. These involve both a joint volunteering program (action A.3, managed by MONTIS and participated by all other beneficiaries, where volunteers will be deployed at least on two organizations along 12 months), as well as individual volunteering activities managed by each beneficiary – actions A.4 to A.11 – which seek to foster and amplify (in frequency, geographical coverage and/or type of tasks) existing programs/activities, for the support of which each associated beneficiary has identified as useful to test the deployment of ESC volunteers (for different periods of time, according to needs).

To support appropriate undertaking of the entire volunteering cycle (including engagement, deployment, supervising, monitoring, assessing and recognizing the promoted works), the project structure also includes a set of actions that could actually be classified as A actions, as they directly fulfil such needs:

action B.2 deals with initial engagement prior to deployment, through Production and Deployment of Teaser(s) to Raise Awareness and Engage ESC Volunteers;

action C.2 deals with overall volunteer management to fulfill ESC requirements, through Overall Management of the ESC Volunteering Cycle;

action C.4 deals with monitoring, including monitoring of volunteers expectations and experiences, to ensure appropriately the targets of a PREP project concerning Monitoring project outputs and impact in LIFE performance Indicators and the local socio-economy.

In addition to the former, which are, altogether, the core of the project works (representing in all 79% of the requested budget and means), the project concept also sets a strong focus on adequate tools for future engagement of volunteers and for fostering replication/transfer of its outputs. For this purpose, taking benefit on the knowhow from one of the beneficiaries in audio-visual production, we focus on delivering a bilingual TV documentary series that will allow to evidence the results from the project activities both in ESC volunteers and in nature conservation. Under Action B.3, dealing with Production and Deployment of TV Series for Dissemination, Replication and Transfer, priority is given to use this support given the novelty of the European Solidarity Corps, as we believe a broad audience still needs to be targeted for awareness on its further use for nature conservation.

Finally, the project structure includes, as usual in any LIFE project, a set of communication, dissemination and management actions (including all the obligatory mentioned in the call), with which cost-effective implementation and technically sound execution and reporting is ensured (remaining B and C actions, as further described). To highlight also that a strong focus will also be given to networking (given the novelty and PREP nature of the project), as well as fostering post-LIFE continuity, sustainability, transfer and replication.

In all, to achieve such aims, the project mostly foresees the use of EU funding to support direct costs with ESC volunteers (about 45% of the budget), followed by personnel (allocated and/or hired to ensure their guidance and management, about 33%). Given an extensive geographical coverage, some traveling is foreseen essential (including mostly local travelling for on-field deployment, around 5%), as well as some external assistance (for specific specialized works, about 5%) and consumables to be used with on-field volunteering (about 4%). By keeping a wide range of synergies among partners, it was also possible to keep overheads below the maximum (about 5%).

As requested by the call for proposals, the range of activities to be undertaken by volunteers is diverse, as it was set by each associated beneficiary in order to face concrete conservation problems that are faced on-field (and, given the diversity of organizations and geographical intervention areas, this allows for increased diversity), and thereby followed by joint identification/selection of the range of activities that, under the whole project context, could provide a wider universe.

The concrete activities can be overall framed under the following groups of tasks/actions:

active mitigation works directed at existing widespread conservation threats and problems, impacting N2000 sites as well biodiversity in a general sense (e.g. especially those related to control of several types of Invasive Alien Species of flora, within outside N2000, but also those related to hydric erosion control along waterlines, fostering of green infrastructure, support to tourist adequate directing along trails, among others, coastal and inland water solid waste removal, …);

active restoration works directed at conservation/restoration of habitats protected by N2000 (e.g. directed to riparian gallery restoration, forest increase and/or recovery, counteracting coastal dune erosion, shrub density control, post-wildfire restoration, among others);

monitoring works that improve understanding/knowledge about conservation status and or threats of protected habitats and species, including those using citizen science approaches (e.g. aquatic invertebrate monitoring, bird monitoring, post-fire recovery monitoring, among others);

awareness raising, towards users of protected areas and other relevant stakeholders, for the benefits of nature and biodiversity conservation and practices that can be most widely used/supported(e.g. by raising awareness on natural capital to firms, entrepreneurs and schools, but also to tourists using nature trails, among others);

specific/specialized works that are generally needed to support nature conservation works, voluntary engagement and management (e.g. use of audio-visual communication tools to engage volunteers; cost-effective/entrepreneurial management to support NGO’s functioning).

Such diversity is actually seen as one of the major added values from this proposal, allowing even to establish and essay a joint volunteering program – for the first time in Portugal with such a broad aim – from which not only the ESC volunteers are expected to be capacitated but also the organizations through which they will “rotate” along the volunteering period (action A.3). This key distinguishing characteristic of the proposal should not be neglected and, despite aimed from now at essaying, may well prove one of the most relevant post-project outputs (taking into account its impacts on the ESC volunteers, on the hosting organizations and on the overall cost-effectiveness of using volunteer work for nature and biodiversity conservation in the country).


Volunteers between the ages of 18 and 30, European Union residents, available for periods of 2 to 12 mont.

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