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2011 Conservation and Environmental Grants by Ford
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2011 Conservation and Environmental Grants by Ford

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Ford Middle East honoured the recipients of the 2011 Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants, with 12 grassroots level projects receiving a total of US$100,000 in an awards ceremony held in Dubai. The ceremony was attended by various environmental personalities and groups from the region.

 

This year, environmental education rings loud with most of the projects involving the youth in order to start early advocacies to protect the environment. Schoolchildren as young as 10 years old, have been involved and mobilised to be guardians of the environment in their own respective communities.

Hussein Murad, Ford Middle East's director of Sales, said: “Our winners for this year are doing a phenomenal job in raising awareness to protect the environment in their local communities. We are glad to be able to assist them to further their cause and mission. It is quite exemplary that most of the projects involve the youth who represent the future and will be able to pass on to their peers ways to conserve the environment. We hope to see more of these projects come to life year-on-year.”

“We also thank UNESCO-Doha and HH Sh. Abdul Aziz Bin Ali Al Nuaimi, who has graced the Ford Grants this year as Ambassador, for spreading the word about the Conservation and Environmental Grants, helping us reach out to the local community groups that need this type of support,” added Murad.

Dr. Benno Boer, UNESCO's Ecological Sciences Advisor in the Arab Region, said: “As one of the longest running and most commendable programmes initiated by the private sector in the region, the Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants have been quite instrumental in helping local groups and organisations continue with their projects and we thank them for their continued support. With our efforts combined, we can influence more communities to do their part in protecting the environment. This is a laudable effort during the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), and the composition of the jury is a real contribution to gender equality, which is an over—arching priority of UNESCO.”

This year’s winners include projects saving coral reefs and protecting marine resources in Kuwait, Oman and the UAE, initiatives that engage communities to become eco-police in and protect natural resources in Lebanon, setting up community theaters to inculcate environmental awareness in Jordan, volunteerism to collect and segregate plastic waste in Kuwait, and many more.

“There is a dire need to educate and activate the communities to preserve the environment. An informed citizenry is our best instrument in fighting the rapid deterioration of the environment. It is truly laudable that the recipients of the Ford Grants are passionately pursuing raising environmental awareness through education and example. We are all beneficiaries of the environment and we must do our part to protect our natural resources against further harm,” said H.H. Sh. Abdul Aziz Bin Ali Al Nuaimi, also known as The Green Sheikh, Ford Grants Ambassador.

The Ford Grants is part of the 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 US$1.2million to more than 140 projects since its inception in 2000.

Since the programme’s global launch over a decade ago, Ford has awarded more than US$2,000,000 in grants to over 300 high-quality projects throughout Asia Pacific, Caribbean, Central America, Middle East and Puerto Rico to further their environmental initiatives.

The GCC and Levant Chapter of the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants 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 & Development (AFED) and UNESCO.

This year's winners have been chosen by an independent panel of jurors consisting of academics, as well as experts from environmental ministries and agencies. The panel of judges, which has been carefully selected in association with UNESCO, based on geographical coverage, age and gender equality, looks for initiatives that demonstrate 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 make available a total of US$100,000 to individuals, community and non-profit groups that have projects currently running in the areas of preservation of the natural environment, environmental education and conservation engineering. The programme is open to applicants from Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

For more information about the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants, supported by UNESCO, please visit www.me.ford.com











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