DUBAI, UAE – Ford Motor Company’s Conservation and Environmental Grants program, the longest-running private initiative of its kind in the Middle East, is using Facebook to launch the 14th year of the program. Once again, U.S. $100,000 is available to environmental projects raising awareness about the environment and conservation efforts.
Projects from Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will be considered.
An independent panel of jurors from environmental agencies and institutions will choose the winning projects. The panel, selected in cooperation with UNESCO Doha, will look for initiatives that demonstrate a well-defined sense of purpose, a commitment to maximising available resources and a reputation for meeting objectives and delivering planned programmes and services.
Larry Prein, Ford Middle East’s managing director, said: “Contributing to a better world is one of the main pillars of Ford Motor Company, and we not only do this by delivering some of the best technologies and industry-leading fuel economy across the range of our products, but also through community initiatives such as the Conservation and Environmental Grants. We recognise the importance of social media in our region and as such, deem it best to reach out to the region’s communities and avid environmental ambassadors through our Facebook page.”
Dr. Benno Boer, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) ecological sciences adviser in the Arab region, said active participation of the public and private sector, and broad individual participation, are essential to achieving sustainable development. “There are many environmental projects that need support in this region, and we are happy to partner with the Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants. Together, we hope to honor and recognise deserving projects that need additional funding in order to carry on with their work as well as create an opportunity for future winners to meet other environmentalists.”
The 2012 winners included a mobile app where guidelines and tips for energy-saving could be downloaded and initiatives that engaged local communities to become educators of natural conservation.
The Ford Grants are part of the company’s efforts to support grass-roots level initiatives that protect and preserve the environment and natural resources and have awarded US $1.3 million to more than 150 projects since its inception in 2000.
For more information about the Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants, visit http://www.me.ford.
The 2012 Ford Grants United Arab Emirates winner, the Gulf Elasmo Project, investigates the shark fishery and status of shark population in the Arabian Gulf.
Cameras placed by Nature Iraq, the 2012 Ford Grants Iraq winner, captured this Persian Leopard. Nature Iraq identifies and preserves key biodiversity areas.