Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants Programme Awards 18 Local Organisations in the Middle East and North Africa
The Grants programme, which helps grassroots level projects dedicated to environmental causes, announced winners from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. For the first-time in the initiative’s history, the Ford Grants was extended to Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco in 2015.
“For the past 15 years, the Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants have actively supported various grass-roots level environmental projects in the region. It is our hope that through this programme, we have helped make a difference in the communities where we serve our customers,” said Jim Benintende, president, Ford Middle East & Africa. “We commend the selfless efforts of all Ford Grants recipients and their continued commitment in conserving their local environment,” and are pleased to see that the majority of the 2015 winners have dedicated their work in awareness projects to educate their communities about the importance of conservation.”
The recipients of the 2015 Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants are:
Abdulaziz Alagaili, Zoology Department, King Saud University: Can you help me find a place to hide? Alternative roosting sites for insectivorous bats in Saudi Arabia is a project that helps find a suitable nesting area for bats in the Kingdom. With the degradation and disappearance of clay houses, the bats have no place to live and propagate. Abdulaziz Alagaili, the lead of this project intends to use the Grants received to fund costs for volunteer work, materials and equipment rental. Award: US$10,000
Ghada Al Bakr: Part 1: Ammar in the deep sea / Part 2 Wild Animals in KSA – Learn and Colour / Part 3: Play with the environment is a mobile application for children where they can play interactive games and learn about the importance and protection of the environment at a young age. With the Ford Grants available, the money will go towards the further development of the apps. Award: US$5,000
Biosphere Expeditions: Capacity building in civil society in marine conservation in the Sultanate of Oman is a repeat winner for Ford Grants. Biosphere has been conducting educational programmes and training activities for local Omanis to learn more about protecting reefs in Oman. The programme has also reached out to over 20,000 Omani school children about reefs, their importance and conservation. With the additional funding from Ford, Biosphere will train four local Omanis who are marine biology students, divers from the Ministry of Environment and other committed adults as certified reef check eco-divers. Award: US$7,000
Green Hand Organisation (GHO): Green Hand Botanical Garden (GHBG) – Iris Sofarana Conservation Garden is the first botanic garden in Lebanon involved in conserving floral diversity both in its natural habitat and species transplanted into another suitable environment to proliferate and propagate. In particular, the project aims to conserve endangered floral bulb species including Iris sofarana – an endemic plant found only in Lebanon. GHO intends to raise awareness through interactive workshops among students, environmental NGOs, private sector and municipalities. With the grants received, GHO will use the funds to cover costs of identification and collection of species, equipment and tools and training. Award: US$7,500
Development for People and Nature Association (DPNA): My Environment, My Home aims to educate the public on the importance of waste sorting at source. The project is being implemented at Ein Zaarour summer camp in Jezzine wherein waste bins, plastic shredders, waste compactor and compost bins will be provided. DPNA will use the Ford Grants to help purchase sorting waste bins, compost bins, hydraulic baler press, plastic shredder and protective umbrella. Award: US$5,000
The Children’s Museum Jordan: Development of a new biodiversity exhibition at the Children’s Museum is a project that aims to upgrade the exhibition that has been in use since 2008. The growing demands of the need to educate more people about Jordan’s biodiversity made the upgrade even more compelling. The project will utilise the expertise of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) and together, both aim to deliver interactive, novel and creative techniques to educate children about Jordan’s biodiversity, protected areas and conservation initiatives. With the help from Ford Grants, the project will have support to fund interactive designs and promotional materials. Award: US$10,000
Hikaya Center for Civil Society Development: Radio Al Najah – Generation for the environment is a radio show project looking into developing content and training 30 young adults for environmental awareness and conservation. The participants will create 12 episodes hosting various environmental topics. The Ford Grants will help fund the training of the youth as well as in development of educational materials. Award: US$5,000 Hanan Qundil: Payback – Rad Al Jameel is designed to help in conserving the environment and to enable low-income women in the south of Jordan produce recycled household waste for sale. There are 100 direct beneficiaries and 350 indirect beneficiaries as a result of this project. The Ford Grants will help in funding various aspects of training and recycling. Award: US$10,000
Khalid Ghanem: Asila is a three-pronged project that entails agricultural waste recycling to produce organic fertilizers as well as animal feeds, farm area for composting, recycling and planting variety of crops, and, innovative social media platform to increase awareness in organic farming or agriculture. The grant will be used to help in sustaining the project especially recycling and for the awareness campaign for farmers and their families. Award: US$5,000
Marwa Helmy: Gardening using endangered species as a means to preserve species is a project that involves planting several species of rare and endangered plants and helping them grow in a habitat. In the future, the project hopes to create nurseries and public parks featuring the endangered species. The grants received will be used for surveys and field visits, work on plant synthesis samples and germination and propagation of sample seeds. Award: US$2,500
Usama Fatthalla A. Mohammed: Conservation of globally endangered dragon tree and capacity building of rangers in Elba mountain park project aims to act on the deteriorating Dracaena ombet found in African mountains due to drought and climate change. Through educational awareness on the importance of the African mountain range from Egypt in the north, east Africa all the way down to Somalia, the project hopes to conserve the biodiversity of the region. This project aims to strengthen awareness through trainings and promote new wave of young rangers and researchers. The fund provided by Ford Grants will be used to invest in the long-term monitoring for climate change impact on dragon tree in Egypt and capacity-building for park rangers in the Elba mountain range, field work, awareness campaign, creation of teacher’s tool kits amongst others. Award: US$5,000
DiversEarth: Marabout: Environmental conservation vectors in North Africa “Sacred Sites of Conservation” is a project that helps to protect the sacred sites in Tunisia that are under threat. Marabouts are considered holy men and sages and where a marabout is located, the area is normally conserved. This project will help to identify the link between marabouts and the conservation of nature and culture helping to ensure that these sacred sites and their values are maintained. The award from Ford Grants will be used to fund fieldwork, community meetings and workshops as well as documentation and communications. Award: US$3,000
Taoufik Bettaieb: Phytoremediation of soil contaminated by heavy metals using industrial plants hopes to resolve the issue of heavy metal presence in soil that consequently affects the food chain. As a method, phytoremediation is more economic, green and sustainable way to combat soil pollution. The project uses specific plant species such as Hibiscus cannabinus and the woody Paulownia Tomentosa (Thunb.) Steud to counter metal traces in soil. The Ford Grants will help to continue reinforce the tests conducted as well as finance laboratory experiments and installation, upkeep of crops on contaminated sites as well as promoting results. Award US$2,500.
Djnoui Nasraoui: Feqara Irrigation System is a crucial water delivery system to the community. The irrigation helps water from higher ground to be transported to communities in low lying areas for gardening and distributed evenly. With additional funding from Ford Grants, the project will be able to create more wells. Award: US$7,000
Bentaiba Abderrahmane: Warda is a social network site aimed at discovering and creating clean up campaigns, preservation and reforestation in all of Algeria in the hope that people will know about environmental activities within the country. Like-minded volunteers or enthusiasts as well as the general public will find information on where and how they can help in conserving Algeria’s environment as well as donate money for the cause. With additional funds from Ford Grants, Bentaiba will develop a prototype as well as mobile application for Warda. Award: US$2,500
The Moroccan Association of Microbial Biotechnology and Protection of Natural Resources: Contribution to environmental preservation and to improve living and hygienic conditions in southern oases of Morocco aims to provide the introduction of productive ecological sanitation concept (EcoSan) and promote participatory and solidarity agriculture in line with agro-ecological method. In addition, the project is looking into land degradation, water resources protection and improvement of local life and hygiene. The Ford Grants will help the project to purchase materials and equipment to rehabilitate two wells and irrigation system for a school garden and human waste recycle. Award US$5,000
Abdelaziz Benyahia: Preservation of Argan Trees project seeks to succeed through continuous planting of Argan, raise awareness on its importance and set up a programme that will take care and help in preserving the trees. Ford Grants will help fund in afforestation and will also be used to raise awareness. Award US$4,000
L’Association des Enseignants des Sciences de la Vie et de la Terre (AESVT): Exp’Eau (Exhibition and education on water protection) is a project that promotes public awareness, specifically with schoolchildren, on the problems with water. Two educational programmes compose the exhibition – all about water including visits to water sites, and educational projects in schools. AESVT intends to use the Grants to fund the development of educational tools and set up events for schools. Award US$4,000
Over the last 15 years, the programme has awarded more than US$1.5 Million to 194 independent projects throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Grants have supported projects that promote capacity building, species conservation, protection of natural resources and educating the youth in environment protection. The Ford Grants is 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 & Environmental Grants programme has received 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.
Winners 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.