Europe financing green initiatives

March 2, 2011 at 10:09 AM
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BRUSSELS, March 2 (UPI) -- More than $370 million is available to fund environmental and sustainable programs in the European Union, the bloc's government announced.

The European Commission said $369 million was available to fund programs in biodiversity, environmental policy and governance in a call for proposals. Another $2.76 million is available in grants for the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem services in European territories.

Projects included under the funding efforts target issues such as the protection of bird habitats with the goal of halting biodiversity loss in Europe. Other programs include awareness campaigns and forest fire prevention.

Europe said it was tackling emerging climate and habitat issues by stepping up financial contributions. The commission said rapid depletion of biodiversity is a "pressing issue" in the region that could have "irreversible consequences."

"Promoting the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services at the international level will be one of the targets of the coming biodiversity strategy," the European government added.

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