Call for proposals

PL02 "The protection of the biological diversity and ecosystems" the main call for proposals

29-03-2013, 08:20

 

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE CALL FOR PROPOSALS
MAIN OPEN CALL FOR PROPOSALS
UNDER THE EEA FINANCIAL MECHANISM 2009-2014
FOR THE OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME PL02
"THE PROTECTION OF THE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEMS"
 
The Minister of the Environment, as Programme Operator for Operational Programme PL02 “The protection of the biological diversity and ecosystems” implemented under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014 hereby announces the main call for proposals under competition procedure for the funding of projects for the amount of EUR 13 190 181, i.e. PLN 54 553 270.[1].
 
1. Programme objective
The objective of the Programme is to halt loss of biodiversity.
 
2. Programme area
Programme area no. 2 for the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014: “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”.
 
3. Types of projects eligible for funding
Projects which contribute to the achievement of one of the general objectives specified below are eligible for funding:
  1. Increased capacity of management and monitor of Natura 2000 sites effectively;
  2. Increased protection of native ecosystems against invasive alien species;
  3. Increased awareness of and education in biodiversity and ecosystem services, including awareness of and education in the linkage between biodiversity and climate change, and economic valuation of ecosystems;
  4. Increased capacity within environmental NGOs promoting biodiversity[2].
Projects submitted by NGOs under the fourth objective should be thematically consistent with one of objectives 1-3.
 
4. Entities that may apply for funding
The following categories of entities may apply for funding from EEA FM funds pursuant to Article 6.2 (1) of the Regulation:
Any entity, public or private as described in Article 6.2 (1) of the Regulation, including inter alia, territorial or local self-government and state organisational units, including the State Forests National Forest Holding (PGL LP), private entities, etc., subject to the reservation that:
 
  • private entities and NGOs within the meaning of Article 1.5.1 (m) of the Regulations must be registered in Poland and active for at least 12 months prior to the announcement date of the call for proposals.
 
5. Amount allocated for funding the projects
Large projects will be supported under the main call for proposals with the amount of EUR 13 190 181, i.e. PLN 54 553 270.
The amount made available in the main call for proposals consists of funds from the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014.
 
6. Project grant rate
The maximum project grant rate may not exceed 85% for applicants that are public entities, i.e. units of the public finance sector, including territorial self-government units and state organisational units such as the State Forests National Forest Holding, and for NGOs.
The project grant rate indicated by the applicant may be reduced following the assessment of the application in order to adjust it to the relevant provisions concerning State aid.
 
7. The maximum and minimum grant amount per project
Within the main call for proposals the minimum amount of grant assistance applied for is EUR 170,000, i.e. PLN 703 103, while the maximum amount of grant is EUR 800,000, i.e. PLN 3 308 720.
 
8. Expenditure eligibility period
The beginning of the project eligibility period: from the day when the decision about project funding is made.
The end of project eligibility period: 30 April 2016.
 
9. Project selection criteria
Within the main call for proposals each applicant may only submit one application for funding.
 
The Programme Operator allows for the possibility for one applicant to submit applications that differ in content within two open calls for proposals for the Operational Programme “The protection of the biological diversity and ecosystems”, i.e. the Small Grant Scheme and the main call for proposals. This applies only to applicants belonging to the NGO sector non-profit.
 
At the same time, the Programme Operator excludes the possibility for the same applicant to submit applications of the same content within two open calls for proposals.
In the event that two applications of the same content are submitted within two calls for proposals, only one application will be assessed. Decisive for the application to be considered for assessment will be the sequence in which applications are submitted at the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (the NFEPWM).
 
Projects are assessed in two stages, which consist of formal as well as substantive and technical assessment. Only projects that meet all formal criteria will be subject to substantive and technical assessment. Substantive assessment is carried out by independent experts, separate from the Programme Operator and the Selection Committee, who have relevant knowledge of areas related to the projects under analysis.
 
At the stage of formal assessment, the Applicant will have the possibility to supplement the missing documents. This pertains to:
- obvious clerical and mathematical errors in the application and/or in annexes;
- the lack of the electronic version of the application and/or annexes;
- lack of compliance between written and electronic version;
- the lack of annexes.
 
If supplementation is necessary, the applicant will be requested via e-mail and fax (with proof of mailing) to supplement the application or provide explanations.
The request will specify which criteria have not been fulfilled and specify in detail the scope of incompatibility. The applicant will provide the supplements and/or explanations within 3 working days from the date when the NFEPWM requests supplementation of documentation.
 
The minimum total number of points (threshold) necessary for the substantive and technical assessment of the project to be positive and thus for the project to be placed in the ranking list is 60 points out of the maximum 100 points that may be obtained.
 
The minimum number of points (threshold) within a given selection criterion in the substantive and technical assessment which qualifies the project for further processing and is thus necessary to be obtained by the project for it to be placed in the ranking list, is 1 point.
 
For the project to be placed in the ranking list, both of the above conditions have to be met simultaneously.
The approved project assessment criteria (formal as well as substantive and technical ones) with the number of points for each criterion can be downloaded from the link below.
 
10. Payment system
Funding will be provided as reimbursement of part of the costs incurred or in the form of advance payment.
The amount of the advance payment and its form will depend on Project Promoter type:
 
  • a one-off payment of up to 40% of the total awarded grant amount – public finance sector units, including territorial self-government units;
  • a one-off payment of up to 10% of the total awarded grant amount – other entities that are not public finance sector units;
  • for NGOs funding is foreseen as advance payments system, where the tranche of the first advance payment may not exceed 10% of the total awarded grant amount (subsequent tranches of advance payments will be transferred according to the schedule included in the project agreement; however, a single advance payment tranche may not exceed 30% of the total awarded grant amount).

The advance payment will be paid to the Project Promoter on the basis of the concluded agreement on project implementation.

Subsequent advance payment tranches for NGOs will be paid to the Project Promoter after the previous tranche has been fully settled on the basis of approved interim reports.
 
The remaining funding for all Project Promoters except for NGOs will be paid to the beneficiary in the form of the reimbursement of part of the costs incurred, on the basis of the approved interim reports (payment claims).
 
A final payment (the retained amount) is also envisaged for the implementation of each project, which will be paid to the beneficiary upon approval of the final report. The specified retained amount will amount to 10% of the total awarded grant amount regardless of the type of Project Promoter.
 
In case of verification of expenditure incurred by a project partner from the Donor States it may be settled on the basis of a report of an independent and certified auditor which confirms that the costs declared were incurred in line with the Regulation, domestic law and accounting practice in the country of the project partner.
The above-mentioned report should be perceived as sufficient evidence of the costs incurred. This principle is only applicable to the project partner from a Donor State in line with Article 7.13.5 of the Regulation.
 
11. Eligible and non-eligible expenditure, contribution in-kind
Expenditure is considered eligible according to general principles, in line with Chapter 7 of the Regulation on the implementation of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 , subject to the following exception:
In reference to Article 7.3.1(c), the costs of purchase of new or second-hand equipment are eligible within the projects if the equipment is an integral and necessary component, essential for achieving the project outcome, in line with point 2.1.7 of Annex I to the programme agreement, available for download below.
In line with Article 7.4.1 (b) of the Regulation, the basis for calculating indirect costs in the projects is a flat rate of up to 20% of its total direct eligible costs, excluding its direct eligible costs for subcontracting and the costs of resources made available by third parties which are not used on the premises of the Project Promoter.
 
The Programme Operator has prepared a detailed methodology for calculating indirect costs, available for download below:
Detailed conditions for the settlement of direct costs will be specified by the Programme Operator in the project contract.
In the case of projects implemented by NGOs, in-kind contribution in the form of unpaid voluntary work may constitute up to 50% of the cofinancing required by the programme for the project. Own contribution within the remaining scope, similar as for beneficiaries other than NGOs, is submitted in monies.
 
Where in-kind contribution is contributed to the project in the form of unpaid voluntary work, the value of that work is calculated by the applicant considering:
  • the amount of time worked voluntarily for the project without payment, expressed as the number of hours, and
  • the standard hourly and daily rate for a given type of work provided.
 
12. Time, place and manner for submitting applications
 
The calendar for the call for proposals
Date of announcement of the call for proposals – 29.03.2013
Start date for accepting applications – 15.04.2013
Closing date for accepting applications – 17.06.2013 until 3:00 PM.
 
The complete application together with the required annexes, filled in on a valid form and signed by a person authorised to submit it, is lodged by the applicant in one copy on paper and in two electronic copies (2 CDs/DVDs) to the following address:
 
National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management
Department of Norwegian Funds
ul. Konstruktorska 3A
02-673 Warsaw
 
The application on paper should be prepared in the A4 format and placed in a file signed with the name of the programme, of the project, and the full name of the applicant. Also the electronic version on the CD/DVD should be signed with the name of the project and the applicant.
 
Applications may be lodged in person at the Office of the NFEPWM between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., or sent via Poczta Polska (Polish Post Office) or by courier, with confirmation of receipt. For applications sent by Poczta Polska (Polish Post Office) or by courier the mailing date is relevant.
 
13. Information concerning the means of appeal available to the applicant
In the case of that the application is rejected as a result of the formal or substantive and technical assessment, the applicant is entitled to make recourse to a two-level appeal procedure. The institution for appeal which considers appeals at the first level is the Programme Operator. The Institution which considers appeals at the second level is the National Focal Point.
 
Details concerning the manner of proceeding under the appeal procedure are presented in the document titled: „Guidelines of the Minister of Regional Development concerning the procedure for the call for proposals under the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014” available for download below.
 
Period allowed for the appeal by the applicant starts from the date of the acknowledgement of receipt of registered mail or courier consignment by the applicant.
 
14. Donor partnership projects
The Programme Operator encourages applicants to submit applications in partnership with partners from Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway). If an application is submitted in a partnership, it is necessary to append a document which confirms the establishment of the partnership, in the form of a letter of intent or partnership agreement.

Prior to the conclusion of the project implementation agreement, a presentation of a signed partnership agreement will be required.
In order to support the process of establishing partnerships with partners from Donor States, the Programme Operator encourages, inter alia, visiting the websites http://www.ngonorway.org/(potential partners from Norway), http://www.rannis.is/english (potential partners from Iceland) or contact by e-mail to Mrs. Karin Lingg - Karin.Lingg // llv.li'">(potential partners from Lichtenstein).
 
Additionally, it is worth to acquaint with information included on the following websites:
-        http://eeagrants.org/Partnerships
 
15. Legal Framework and Programme Documents
When submitting application, applicants must follow the rules set forth in the documents listed below:
  • Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, download
  • Programme agreement between the Financial Mechanism Committee and the National Focal Point, download
  • Regulation on the implementation of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, download
  • Guidelines of the Donor States (available at www.eeagrants.org/id/2511.0),
  • Guidelines of the National Focal Point (available at www.eog.gov.pl),
  • Applicant’s Manual, drafted by the Programme Operator, download
  • “Strategy of the Bilateral Cooperation Fund” for the Programme PL02 “The protection of the biological diversity and ecosystems”, download
  • Rulebook for the open call for proposals PL02
 
16. Application form
Applications should only be submitted on special application forms available for download below.
Instructions for filling in the application are included in the "Applicant's Manual".
 
17. List of annexes to the application required
The following annexes should be appended to the application form:
  1.   Documents that specify the Applicant’s legal status,
  2.   Financial documents of the Applicant,
  3.   Documents that confirm the Applicant’s own contribution to Project financing,
  4.   Documents that confirm partnership in the project (if applicable),
  5.   Publicity plan,
  6.   List of persons involved in project implementation,
  7.   Methodology for estimating project costs or a calculation thereof, including the in-kind contribution,
  8.   Declaration to maintain project outcomes throughout the project's sustainability period,
  9.   Excerpt from the plan of protection/conservation tasks for a Natura 2000 site (if applicable and if the plan exists),
  10.   Opinion and/or approval of the competent nature conservation entity of project implementation, or confirmation of having requested such an opinion/approval (applicable only to activities in Natura 2000 sites and invasive alien species),
  11.   The consent of the owner, manager or user of the perpetual usufruct of the area where the project is to be implemented (if applicable),
  12.   Synopses of planned publications, brochures, films, television/radio broadcasts (including technical parameters) etc. (if applicable),
  13.   Terms of Reference for competitions, programmes for training sessions, workshops, seminars, conferences, events, festivals with specification of their duration etc. (if applicable),
  14.   Drafts of the object, location (on the map) – (if applicable, for projects involving extension of infrastructure in the area),
  15.   Documentation concerning the calculation of indirect costs (if applicable),
  16.   Declaration about the conformity of the paper version of the application form with the electronic version,
  17.   Other documents if deemed necessary by the Applicant.

Detailed requirements concerning the annexes listed above are described in the “Applicant’s Manual”.

 
18. Language of the application form
Application form with all the required annexes should only be submitted in Polish regardless whether the project is submitted by a national entity only or in cooperation with a partner from a Donor State.
 
19. Contact with the Programme Operator
All inquiries concerning call for proposals (in duration of the call) should be directed to the following address:
 
Ministry of the Environment
Department of European Funds
ul. Wawelska 52/54
00-922 Warsaw
Phone no: 22 57 92 779, 22 57 92 772
E-mail:
 
National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management
Department of Norwegian Funds
ul. Konstruktorska 3A
02-673 Warsaw, phone no. 22 45 90 875 e-mail: mfeog@nfosigw.gov.pl

 

 


[1] The amount for the call for proposals as expressed in EUR and then calculated by Programme Operator to the national currency and expressed in PLN, using the average monthly exchange rate published in the Official Journal of the European Union (in the C series), calculated for the period of last 6 months EUR 1 = PLN 4,1359).
[2] Please also read the announcement of the call for proposals for the Small Grant Scheme, directed exclusively at NGOs

 

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