DUBAI, UAE – Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants have been awarded to nine projects in the Middle East. The awards total $100,000.
The latest edition of the Ford Grants marks the inclusion of Iraq in the programme’s coverage for the first time, with one project from Sulaymaniah winning a grant.
Dubai-based Rima Jabado received $8,000 for her initiative, the Gulf Elasmo Project, a comprehensive assessment of sharks in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf. The project investigates the shark fishery and status of shark population in the area. The Arabian Gulf has little information on sharks and is known internationally as an area with a dearth of scientific data on the species.
All of the projects awarded this year showed diverse methods of promoting environmental awareness and conservation across a broad spectrum of communities in the region. From waste segregation for recycling and training teachers from rural areas to be the example and messengers for the environment to identifying key biodiversity zones, the projects all call for more cooperation from the public and governments.
Larry Prein, Ford Middle East’s managing director, said: “We congratulate the many who embraced protecting the environment and intensified their efforts to invite more public to participate. We received promising environmental projects and laud the aggressive and urgent ways developed to conserve natural resources. Ford Motor Company can only hope to continuously support these projects that make a difference to each and every community.
“Now entering our 13th year, we also acknowledge the support of the panel of jurors as well as UNESCO-Doha for their continued support of our programme,” Prein added.
Dr. Benno Boer, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) ecological sciences adviser in the Arab region, said “We need more participation from all of us when we talk about sustainable environmental development, and that needs to include governments, NGOs, the private sector and the public. With this initiative, we most certainly make a significant contribution to this. There were so many worthwhile projects throughout the participating countries, and we are happy to know that more and more individuals and organisations have taken it upon themselves to take care of the environment.”
Dr. Thabit Zahran Al Abdessalaam, Ford Grants juror for the UAE and senior adviser for terrestrial and marine biodiversity at the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi, said: “It is always good to know that we have many groups and individuals committed to the cause of the environment. We congratulate everyone who submitted their applications for undertaking a worthy cause.”
This year’s winners include a mobile app where guidelines and tips for energy-saving can be downloaded, initiatives that engage local communities to become educators of natural conservation and plantation of oak saplings by schoolchildren, as well as identifying and preserving the key biodiversity areas of Iraq.
The Conservation and Environmental Grants program is part of Ford Motor Company’s efforts to support grass-roots level initiatives that protect and preserve the environment and natural resources in the GCC and Levant countries, and has awarded a total of $1.3 million to more than 150 projects since its inception in 2000.
The GCC and Levant Chapter of the Ford Grants program has seen support from various governmental and non-governmental environmental authorities including the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Emirates Wildlife Society, the Arab Forum for Environment and Development and UNESCO Doha.
This year's winners were chosen by an independent panel of jurors selected in consultation with UNESCO Doha and consisting of academics as well as experts from environmental agencies. The judges looked for initiatives that demonstrated a well-defined sense of purpose, a commitment to maximizing available resources and a reputation for meeting objectives and delivering planned programmes and services.
Each year, the Ford Grants program makes available a total of $100,000 to individuals, community and non-profit groups that have projects running in the areas of preservation of the natural environment, environmental education and conservation engineering. The programme is open to applicants from Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
For more information about the Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants, please visit www.me.ford.com.
The 2012 Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants winners are:
1 - Al Shajarah Society (The Society for the Protection of Trees)
Project: Rehabilitating the Forest of Berain
Photo Caption: Ford Grants Winner Jordan Al Shajarah – Berain
2 - Jordan Green Building Council
Project: Spreading Green Building Awareness
LEBANON3 - Diana Marroush
Project: Training and Capacity Building for School Teachers in Rural Areas on environmental education and biodiversity conservation
Photo Caption: Ford Grants Winner Lebanon Diana Marroush
4 - Arc En Ciel
Project: Sodak Sorts Out
5 - Lebanese Center for Active Citizenship
Project: Home Recycling Initiative in Bebnine, Akkar
6 - Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED)
Project: Production of Energy Efficiency Handbook for Buildings
7 - Environment Society of Oman
Project: Native Tree Planting Campaign (previous winner)
Grant awarded: $27,500
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES8 - Rima Jabado
Project: Gulf Elasmo Project
Photo Caption: Ford Grants UAE winner - Shark measurements
IRAQ9 – Nature Iraq
Project: Inventory of Key Biodiversity Areas of Iraq
Photo Caption: Ford Grants Iraq Winner - Persian Leopard - Nature Iraq Camera Trap