BEIJING, China — The issue of air quality is one of the hottest discussed topics that often makes headlines in China. The most effective way of addressing the "by-product" of China's fast economic development is probably through engaging all relevant parties and taking concrete actions that lead to real change.
That is what Ford has been doing during the past 12 years with its CEGC programme (Conservation and Environmental Grants, China) which provides support to a great number of grassroots environmental protection organizations and individuals in China.
At the annual awards ceremony in Beijing on December 2, Ford recognised 30 winners – environmental NGOs and individuals – in two categories, Leadership in Environmental Conservation, and Excellence in Public Awareness Campaigns for Environmental conservation.
Standing out from around 120 entries for the year, "Pandeba environmental protection and community development programme" in Tibet and "Beijing Besieged by Waste" were awarded first prizes respectively in the above two categories. Other winners included a project safeguarding the local environment of Qinghai Nianbaoyuze Mountain, water resource preservation in Chongqing, a household waste sorting project in Shanghai, and a programme that protects endangered fish species in the Yangtze River.
"As one of the first awards for grassroots environmental NGOs in China, CEGC has come a long way. Together we are making a difference to the environment that nurtured all of us. It is also our heritage to strive to be a great company by developing great products, building a strong business and contributing to a better world. To do all three is certainly not easy, it means taking responsibility for all stakeholders including the natural environment." said Joe Hinrichs, group vice president and president, Asia Pacific and Africa of Ford Motor Company at the awarding ceremony.
Like many CEGC winners of the year, Wang Jiuliang -- who spent the past three years investigating over 500 landfills in Beijing and taking photos for public exhibition – believes environmental protection is a deed that concerns every individual in society. Wang's project "Beijing Besieged by Waste" won first prize of this year's programme.
"When I throw something away into the rubbish bin, I always want to know where they go and how they are treated. I think that is an issue that concerns all of us," said Wang, responding to a question on the stage about why he devoted himself to the project for all these years.
Entering its 12th year in China, Ford's CEGC programme is gaining increasing recognition for its fairness and transparency. Former director of the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau Li Shuping, who has been with CEGC as a judge for 12 years, was pleased to see that grassroots NGOs in China were becoming more organised and influential in their communities and were more able to use diversified communications channels to engage more people through the support of CEGC.
Ye Lan, one of the award winners, brought two pieces of his calligraphy works as presents for Ford Motor and Prof. Qu Geping, chairman of the China Environmental Protection Foundation.
"The evaluation process of Ford's CEGC programme is fair and strict. I applied every year since its first launch in 2000 and this is the first time I won an award. I want to thank Ford for supporting NGOs and individuals like us," said Ye.
Since its launch in China in 2000, CEGC has awarded a total of RMB 12.5 million to 278 grassroots organizations and individuals. The third category of this year's programme, Multimedia Projects for Environmental Conservation, is now in "public viewing" stage (www.fordgreen.com.cn) and winners will be announced by mid-December.
|The Shenzhen Blue Ocean programme was granted second prize in the 2011 CEGC.
||Wang Jiuliang's (left) project "Beijing Besieged by Waste" attracted great attention during the past three years.
||Jennifer Gilhool (second from the right), director, Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, poses with second prize winners. |