Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 50 million

Official Journal Reference

L 370 of 1991-12-31

Legislative Reference

3907/91/CEE of 1991-12-19
To grant financial support for projects contributing to the maintenance or re-establishment of biotopes which are the habitat of endangered species or seriously threatened habitats of particular importance to the Community, or to the implementation of measures to conserve or re-establish endangered species pursuant to Directive 79/409/EEC and to the maintenance or re-establishment of types of natural habitats of Community interest and animal and plant species of Community interest.


ACNAT was set up because it is considered important that the Community should be able to make a contribution towards the action of the Member States for the maintenance and re-establishment of seriously threatened biotopes of endangered species or towards the implementation of measures to maintain and re-establish endangered species, pursuant to Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds, as last amended by Commission Directive 91/244/EEC and for the maintenance and re-establishment of seriously threatened habitats corresponding to the types of habitats in danger of disappearance in the Community or supporting species in danger of extinction in the Community, or towards the implementation of measures to conserve and re-establish such species, other than birds, and supplementing the action taken for the same purpose in Community research programmes.

This programme is repealed by Council Regulation (EEC) No 1973/92 of 21.5.1992 establishing the LIFE financial instrument.


Information not presently available.


The Commission was responsible for implementing the programme assisted by a committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

Community financial assistance was provided for projects which were of Community interest and of interest in terms of conservation of the biotopes, habitats or species specified by the Commission. Financial support was commensurate with the importance of the project to the Community, the capacity of the regions concerned to implement conservation measures and the urgency of the need for financial support to implement the project in question and takes particular account of its incentive effect in the Community. The rate of Community assistance was subject to the following ceilings:

- Normally, a maximum of 50% of the cost of projects;
- Exceptionally, a maximum of 75% of the cost provided the projects concern biotopes or habitats of species threatened with extinction in the Community or habitats in danger of disappearance from the Community or species threatened with extinction in the Community.

Applications for financial support for projects are submitted to the Commission by the Member States. In the absence of suitable applications, the Commission, in exceptional circumstances and in agreement with the Member State or States concerned, takes the initiative of proposing measures relating to species threatened with extinction in the Community or relating to habitats directly exposed to disappearance in the Community, relating to transboundary biotopes or habitats within the Community or contributing to the solution of particularly urgent problems in the context of the Berne Convention, the Bonn Convention or the Ramsar Convention relating to habitats or species of interest to the Community.

The Commission was responsible for ensuring that projects financed by the Community were carried out properly, to prevent and take action against irregularities and to recover sums unduly paid as a result of abuse or negligence.

The beneficiary of financial support was required to submit a report each year to the Commission on the implementation of the commitments made to the Commission and on the progress of work of the project and on the costs incurred in its execution. A list of projects financed by ACNAT was published annually in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

The Commission submits an annual report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee on the implementation of ACNAT also containing the list of reject applications.
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