Ford launches $100,000 eco grants
Dubai, April 2, 2012
Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants, the longest-running private eco initiative in the region, is offering funds worth $100,000 to environmental activists in the GCC and Levant region to help them further their projects.
Entering its 13th year, the grass-root level program has offered $1.2 million in grants to over 140 Middle Eastern environmental projects since its launch.
The Grants are aimed at helping these activists raise awareness about the environment and much needed efforts for conservation.
Supported by Unesco’s Doha office, the programme is now open and receiving applications for grants from not-for-profit on-going environmental projects that are seeking additional funding, said a statement from Ford Motor Company.
Application forms can be downloaded from www.me.ford.com with the deadline of submission set for July 10, 2012.
This year also marks the addition of Iraq to the GCC/Levant Chapter of the Ford Grants, bringing to nine the countries that Ford’s green initiative covers, said the statement.
Projects from Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE can apply, it added.
An independent panel of jurors consisting of nine experts and academics from environmental agencies and institutions will choose the winning projects.
Larry Prein, Ford ME managing director, said, “Since 2000, the Grants have provided much needed financial support to various local community initiatives. Through this, we are able to extend our hands and connect with the communities where we operate in together with our dealers,hoping to make a significant contribution to the betterment of the environment.”
Dr Benno Boer, Unesco's ecological sciences advisor in the Arab region, said, "This year, our Doha office continues to support the efforts of Grants in recognising deserving projects and honouring the people who work tirelessly to protect the environment."
"Ford is to be commended for their commitment to this community initiative and for giving the opportunity for grass-root level projects to expand and grow," he added.
The 2011 winners included projects saving coral reefs and protecting marine resources in Kuwait, Oman and the UAE, initiatives in Lebanon that engage communities to recycle for a good cause, become eco-police and protect natural resources, setting up community theaters to inculcate environmental awareness in Jordan, volunteerism to collect and segregate plastic waste in Kuwait.
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Ali Al Nuaimi, also known as The Green Sheikh, who also supports the Ford Grants as a programme ambassador, said, "Protecting the environment is like a race against time. We must act now for the future generation."
"More so, we encourage the youth from the region to play an active role in raising awareness to conserve the environment," the Green Sheikh remarked.
"The power is within today’s youth to make a difference and be the environment’s defender. By simply minding your actions to avoid unnecessary use of energy and resources and be an example to your community, you are already contributing significantly," he added.-TradeArabia News Service