The Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants programme has received over 300 entries for its 2014 edition, setting an all-time record in the number of projects competing over their share of the US$100,000 grants.
Director of Ford Middle East & North Africa, Kalyana Sivagnanam, said:
We are pleased with the number of applications received this year which shows that more and more grassroots environmental projects are initiated by concerned citizens and community groups as they act to preserve the environment. This level of response is encouraging and clearly indicates the Ford Grants growing popularity as it nears its 15th anniversary next year. We are proud more than ever of this unique initiative which has become a much awaited annual programme, and of all the projects it has helped go further.’
The overwhelming response received from individuals, community groups and NGO’s, also came from all participating countries including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, indicating the ever growing popularity of one of the largest corporate initiatives of its kind in the region which is due to mark its 15th anniversary next year.
The Ford Grants makes available a total of US$100,000 to help fund existing environmental and conservation projects in the Middle East region. For the first time this year, the programme extended to Yemen bringing the number of participating countries to ten. Non-profit and on-going environmental initiatives from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen needing extra funds to expand the scope of their work or ensure continuity, are qualified to apply.
Over US$1 million has been granted to more than 150 projects since the initiative first started in 2000 and Ford’s green initiative has helped support projects to study and conserve the region’s rich biodiversity, support recycling schemes and green building initiatives, as well as raise conservation and sustainability awareness.
Individuals, community and non-profit groups that have projects currently running in the areas of preservation of the natural environment, environmental education or conservation engineering can apply for a share of the US$100,000 grants.
Winners are chosen by an independent panel of jurors consisting of academics, as well as experts from environmental organisations. The judges – who are carefully selected in association with UNESCO Doha, based on geographical coverage, age and gender equality – 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. This year’s winners will be announced in mid-November.
The Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants has seen support from various governmental and non-governmental environmental authorities from around the Middle East, including the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Emirates Wildlife Society, the Arab Forum for Environment & Development (AFED) and UNESCO Doha.