DUBAI, UAE – Ford Motor Company will award U.S. $100,000 in Conservation and Environmental Grants to help fund existing environmental projects in the Middle East. For the first time, the programme will include environmental projects in Yemen in addition to the Gulf Cooperation Council, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 14.
The Ford Grants program, which helps grass-roots level projects, is responsible for more than 150 successful green initiatives.
More than $1 million has been allocated since the program started in 2000, helping projects that study and conserve the region’s rich biodiversity, support recycling schemes and green building initiatives and raise conservation awareness. The Ford Grants program is one of the largest corporate initiatives of its kind in the region, created to empower individuals and non-profit groups that are donating their time and efforts to preserve the environmental well-being of their communities.
The grants programme has had a significant financial impact in Lebanon, where 37 projects received grants totaling U.S. $322,500. In the Gulf, green projects from Saudi Arabia received the largest amount of support with a total of U.S. $193,000 given to organisations in the Kingdom since 2000. Environmental projects in Oman received nearly U.S. $160,000 in funding, while United Arab Emirates’-based projects were given U.S. $149,500.
“As we look back on the programme’s heritage in the region, we are increasingly aware of the impact the Ford Grants could have had on the local communities where we serve our customers, supporting environmental groups and helping educate the public on important issues,” said Kalyana Sivagnanam, director of Ford Middle East and North Africa. “We are proud of the Ford Grants initiative in this region and of all the projects it has helped go further.”
In 2013, 17 environmental projects from Lebanon, Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iraq also received grants. The entries showed diverse methods of promoting environmental awareness and conservation across a broad spectrum of communities in the region. Themes ranged from awareness campaigns on saving water and sorting waste and on renewable energy, a smartphone app allowing users to conduct simple energy audits at home and share with neighbours and many more.
Individuals, community and non-profit groups that have projects currently running in the areas of preservation of the natural environment, environmental education or conservation engineering can apply via the online form (http://fordmegrants.com/en) until Sept. 14 for a chance to share the total grants of U.S. $100,000. Eligible countries are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen.
The Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants has received support from various governmental and non-governmental environmental authorities from around the Middle East, including the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Emirates Wildlife Society, the Arab Forum for Environment and Development and UNESCO Doha.
Winners are chosen by an independent panel of jurors consisting of academics and experts from environmental organisations. The judges –selected in association with UNESCO Doha based on geographical coverage, age and gender equality – look for initiatives that demonstrate a well-defined sense of purpose, a commitment to maximizing available resources, and a reputation for meeting objectives and delivering planned programmes and services.
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