Ford Motor Company launches the 20th edition of its Conservation and Environmental Grants programme, with $50,000 made available to successful entries from around the Middle East and North Africa region, including a special category grant for this year’s World Environment Day theme, Beating Air Pollution.
Projects from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Yemen are eligible for entry to the Conservation and Environmental Grants, and should be focused on one of three main areas: Environmental Education, Protection of the Natural Environment and Conservation Engineering.
This year, a $6,000 special category grant will go for the project that best displays a plan to tackle the complex issue of Air Pollution, the theme of the 2019 United Nations World Environment Day. Two further categories will receive financial support for winning projects: Best in Research – projects that show use of research in finding, and implementing, solutions to a specific environmental issue – and Best in Community Engagement, for the project that best demonstrates community engagement during its undertaking.
Individuals or organisations with on-going projects focused on any of the main areas of focus are invited to apply by downloading the form here, and email it to [email protected] Applications will be received from August 1, with a closing date for submissions on September 1, 2019 at 9pm AST (Arab Standard Time). Jury voting will take place, virtually, in September, with winners announced in October of this year.
“Air pollution is a complex global issue. At Ford, we continue to work tirelessly to not just lower our footprint but also to develop innovations that make a positive contribution to society,” said Randy Krieger, president, Ford Direct Markets.
“Through our continued efforts in electrification and many other initiatives, we aspire to achieve zero air emissions from our facilities and support CO2 reductions consistent with the Paris Climate Accord. And we continue to make progress; in 2017, we achieved our goal to reduce the company’s global carbon dioxide emissions from manufacturing operations by 30 per cent per vehicle produced by 2025, eight years early,” Krieger explained.
“We also strive to play an active role in the communities where we serve our customers, through initiatives that help create an impact. And the Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants programme is one of many initiatives Ford has invested in to preserve our environment for future generations,” Krieger continued. “With this year’s World Environment Day theme of Beating Air Pollution in mind, the programme will be including an additional special category to be awarded a $6,000 grant, and we look forward to rewarding those community initiatives that deserve to be recognised.”
Projects in the past year alone have seen Environmental Education joint winners the Halgurd-Sakran Park Project by Waterkeepers Iraq, and Rehabilitation of Al Nakheel Island in El Mina by Andre Nahhas School in Lebanon, direct their new-found funds to launching a river festival in a first-of-its-kind park in Kurdistan, and to bringing wildlife and palm trees back to the flat rocky eroded limestone island off the coast of Lebanon’s Tripoli.
Conservation Engineering, another category too difficult to find a clear winner in, saw Morocco-based the Ouaourint Association’s project Protection of the Waterways: Wadi Al Abid, and Lebanon’s Arcenciel share the spoils. The former hopes to use funds supplied by Ford to tackle water pollution supplying the Bzou community in the northwest corner of Morocco’s Azilal Province, while Arcenciel will invest its winning grant money in finalising its study on 11 strains of indigenous actinobacteria. The project’s main objective is to optimise the compost industry through the use of an innovative bacterial inoculum.
Another project in Iraq will address the need for an academic centre concentrating on the policy development, practical intervention, and community participation in necessary green space development in the Kurdistan region. As winner in the Natural Environment category, the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS), in collaboration with the Kurdistan Botanical Foundation, will invest in, among other things, relocating specimens and seed samples to the university’s campus, making building modifications to enable proper temperature controlled storage, and upgrading the university environmental programme.
In its 20 years of existence, the Ford Grants programme has become 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.
Since its inception, the Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants programme has received support and recognition from various governmental and non-governmental environmental authorities from around the Middle East, including the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED).
Recipients are chosen by an independent panel of judges consisting of academics and leaders from regional environmental organisations. The judges are seasoned environmentalists or academicians from the region carefully selected based on geographical coverage, age and gender equality. They 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.