Six pioneering projects won the “Ford Grants for the Environment” program 2019. At the end of the twentieth edition of its program on social responsibility projects, Ford Motor Company, in February, awarded $ 50,000 in cash prizes to a number of winning projects from the MENA region, Including a special category created in line with the World Environment Day slogan; “Defeat air pollution”.
Projects that were accepted to participate in a program focused on one of three main axes: environmental education, natural environmental protection, and environmental conservation engineering. Participants included Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Sultanate of Oman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen.
The “Integrated Environmental Gardens Project in Aqaba”, which is managed by the National Center for Agricultural Research in Jordan, was among the winning projects in the category of “Natural Environment Protection”, with funding worth $ 10,000, and the center will use the grant to finance the costs of reclaiming and planting 10,000 tree of Arabic wormwood or ( Moringa) in the southernmost city of Jordan for the next six months.
Commenting on the winning of their project “Integrated Environmental Gardens in Aqaba”, Dr. Nizar Haddad, Director General of the National Center for Agricultural Research in Jordan, explained to “afroshongir” that the idea of the project came out after a study of the Aqaba Governorate region about its environmental needs. One of the initial results was to return to agriculture, but integrally with school students and families, and make them the leaders of the project through determining the extent of their knowledge of and care for agriculture and how to use agriculture to increase environmental awareness and climate change and use it to increase family income.
Dr.Haddad Pointed out that they chose the Moringa tree which has been targeted by the project in the Aqaba region due to the tree’s several advantages which includ rapid growth that exceeds 1.5 meters during a year and also to its multiple benefits in terms of aesthetic and medical because of its nutritional benefits consisting of nutrients and vitamins that have the ability to compensate for the lack of food and the possibility of using its leaves as spices directly or indirectly, the possibility of consuming seeds as a meal directly or extracting oil from them.
There is also the possibility of using the seeds to filter water from impurities. He added, “We have chosen four schools to grow model gardens in them. We chose a home roof to become a model for planting roofs in Aqaba, in terms of aesthetics and production, and we have also distributed Moringa seedlings in the province.”
Agricultural Innovation Incubator
Al-Haddad says that the National Center for Agricultural Research, in his pursuit of leadership in innovative agricultural projects, launched the “Agricultural Innovation Incubator” initiative on 26/2/2019. The initiative is a product of the important role of the Center in disseminating agricultural knowledge and aware, which aims to transform entrepreneurial ideas into real projects. It strengthens the national economy and contributes to sustainable development, job creation and outstanding success stories.”
Dr. Al- Haddad noted that the new initiative (the Incubator of Agricultural Innovation) came in implementation as a result of the aspirations and visions of His Majesty King Abdullah II, which was mentioned in many of his lofty speeches, royal messages and discussion papers on innovation, creativity and excellence.
The Agricultural Innovation Incubator project aims to achieve its mission of “qualifying entrepreneurs and creators, maturing their ideas, nurturing them and qualifying them to be able to compete in the market, so that they can move from the category of job seekers to the category of owners of small and medium enterprises, with an emphasis on the values of participation, transparency and social responsibility.
And in what contributes to achieving the center’s visions, mission, values and goals, through achieving a number of goals, including helping to establish productive or service projects that work to provide their services to society and work to create an appropriate climate and provide all the available capabilities to facilitate the establishment of projects, work to link new projects with the market through the formation of a joint link between these projects and existing projects, in addition to its capabilities in linking incubated projects inside the incubator with each other to benefit from their experiences and weaknesses and how to overcome them, and work to help small projects and innovative ideas to overcome the administrative, financial and technical problems and obstacles that may be encountered, especially in the establishment stage.
It is worth noting that the participating projects from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan carefully reserved their place within the category of environmental conservation engineering, where the environmental and agricultural researcher Tala Khreis won the grand prize through the pioneering program “Extracting Water from Fog in the Desert”. Tala Khrais seeks to benefit from the prize value of $ 12 ,000 in improving sustainable water resources for residents and farmers in the Bedouin town of Gatrana, hoping to expand the project in the future to meet the needs of more rural and desert villages.
To date, 36 projects from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan concerned with the environment and their protection have received funding from the “Ford Grants for the Environment” program, with a total value of approximately $ 300,000.
Two participations from Egypt also received a financial grant in the category of environmental protection projects. The researcher nominated for Ph.D. Chris Bunyan, who has more than 15 years of experience in managing interdisciplinary tropical marine resources, plans to work closely with the Bedouin communities in South Sinai to develop a sustainable system for managing coral reef fisheries .
Bunyan formerly won the $ 5,000 Best Research Award, for his use of research in reaching results, application processes and providing solutions to a specific environmental issue. The project of the environmental consultant project Dr. Karim Omar, which revolves around the South Sinai region, also received a grant of $ 5,000 in the category of “best in interacting with local communities”. Omar is seeking to employ community-based management concepts in preparing plans to protect endangered plant varieties, particularly Rosa Arabia. Primula Bouviana primrose.
The “Green Cradle : Welcome to a Recovery Environment” project, which is managed by the “You Manage ; Association for Rural Women”has succeeded in raising the Kingdom of Morocco’s grants from the “Ford Grants for Environment Preservation” program since its inception 20 years ago to $ 95,000, after winning an award 2019 Special Class of $ 6000 awarded for the project that offers the best plan to tackle the problem of air pollution. The project aims to plant 150 carob, olive or quince trees for every newborn child in the kingdom. Ownership of trees will pass to the child on his tenth birthday, giving him the fruits of his financial stability in adulthood.
“Ford is keen on continuing to strive to reduce our carbon fingerprint, develop innovations that contribute positively to society, and contribute to an active role in the societies in which we do business by supporting influencing initiatives,” said Zixon Inabi, Government Relations Officer at Ford – Direct Markets. ‘Ford Environmental Protection Grant’ is one of these initiatives that the company invests in to preserve and protect the environment for future generations.”