Ford grants recognise UAE conservation project

| 07/02/2011 | 2 Comments

The Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants awarded Emirates Diving Association (EDA) for its Project Reef Check aimed at the preservation of UAE’s coral reefs.

Emirates Diving Association received $9,000 from Ford to fund training programmes for volunteers and for the collection of data during the reef check surveys in Al Aqqa, Rul Dibba and Al Faqeet around the East coast. The Reef Check project not only collects scientific data important for the conservation of the marine environment but also provides volunteers information in layman’s terms to understand the status of the UAE’s coral reefs and know the main threats. With this project, it is also hoped that the local communities will have increased awareness on the state of coral reefs and the need to conserve them.

EDA won one of the two awards granted in the UAE. The second award went to IFAW for its fight against the illegal trade of animals in the region.

“Both projects that received grants from Ford emphasise the community’s role in protecting the environment. We commend the determination of EDA and IFAW in pursuing extensive awareness campaigns through training programmes and workshops,” said Hussein Murad, director of Sales at Ford Middle East.  “Through the Ford Grants and the legacy of Henry Ford who was in the business of not only creating good products but goodwill, we continue to give back to our local communities where we serve.”

The Ford Motor Company Conservation and Environmental Grants is a grass-root level programme that has offered $1.1 million in grants to over 130 Middle Eastern environmental projects since its launch in 2000.

In the Middle East, the initiative 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, the UNESCO Doha.

An independent panel of nine jurors consisting of academics, as well as experts from environmental ministries and agencies choose the winning projects that demonstrated a well-defined sense of purpose, a commitment to maximising available resources, and a reputation for meeting objectives and delivering planned programmes and services.

Each year, the Ford Grants make a total of $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.

Following are the recipients of the 2010 Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants, GCC and Levant Chapter:

Jordan:
•    Jordan Environment Society, for their project: Eco-Students Network; Category: Environmental Education. Grant awarded: $10,000
•    Badia Center for Ecological Education, for their project: Capacity building and Public awareness; Category: Environmental Education. Grant awarded: $10,000

Lebanon:
•    Dr Salwa Tawk, for her project: Arabic version of Urban Agriculture in the Middle East and North Africa magazine; Category: Natural Environment and Environmental Education. Grant awarded: $10,000
•    Animal Encounter, for their project: Long Term effect of zoo education on wildlife conservation; Category: Environmental Education. Grant awarded: $10,000

Oman:
•    Biosphere Expeditions, for their project: Dhofar Arabian Leopard Project (previous winner); Category: Natural Environment. Grant awarded: $12,000
•    Biosphere Expeditions, for their project: Musandam Coral Reef Project; Category: Natural Environment. Grant awarded: $10,000
•    Environment Society of Oman, for their project: Community Education on Masirah Island, Oman, the World’s Largest Loggerhead Turtle Rookery; Category: Natural Environment. Grant awarded: $7,000

Qatar:
•    College of the North Atlantic, for their project: Build an Environmental Research Robot to clean the beach at Ras Laffan Industrial City; Category: Natural Environment. Grant awarded: $15,000

UAE:
•    Emirates Diving Association, for their project: Reef Check; Category: Natural Environment. Grant awarded: $9,000
•    International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), for their project: Prevention of illegal trade of animals in ME region. Category: Natural Environment. Grant awarded: $7,000

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