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UNESCO Joins Hands With Ford Motor Company to Drive Awareness of Conservation and Environmental Grants
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UNESCO Joins Hands With Ford Motor Company to Drive Awareness of Conservation and Environmental Grants

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Ford Motor Company announced a partnership with UNESCO to help raise awareness of its Conservation and Environmental Grants programme. The partnership will help identify more local grass roots environmental projects that are in need of additional funding. The Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants, supported by UNESCO, are offering a total of US$100,000 to deserving, non-profit environmental projects that are currently ongoing in the GCC, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Applications to qualify for the Grants are open and entry forms are available to download from me.ford.com. The deadline to submit applications is 10 September 2011.

Larry Prein, Ford Middle East's managing director, said: “We are proud to join hands with UNESCO in identifying and helping the many unsung heroes of our planet. UNESCO’s endorsement is testament to the success of this programme over the past 12 years, and the tie-up with UNESCO will help us spread awareness of this initiative across the appropriate channels and widen its scope of coverage. With UNESCO, we will be able to reach more projects and help them fulfill their environmental missions. Through the Ford Grants, we look to help sustain and grow these projects and continue to create an impact and instill environmental awareness across our communities.”

Dr. Benno Boer, UNESCO's Ecological Sciences Advisor in the Arab Region, said: “The Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants is one of the longest running and most commendable programmes initiated by the private sector in our region and deserve to be supported. We will work hand in hand with Ford Middle East to identify deserving environmental projects and help them carry out their works through the funding that will be extended to them.” 

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$1.1million to more than 130 projects since its inception in 2000.

Last year's winners included a broad mix of projects – from coral reef and Arabian Leopard preservation; to a campaign to reduce illegal trade in wild and endangered species; to beach cleansing using robots and student environmental networks and more. A noteworthy trend for 2010 saw youth spearheading initiatives, with students leading or actively involved in four of the ten winning projects.

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 most recently, UNESCO.

An independent panel of nine jurors consisting of academics, as well as experts from environmental ministries and agencies, choose the winning projects in 2010. The panel of judges, which has been carefully selected 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 a total of US$100,000 available 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, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.











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