Ford Motor Company has handed over an equal share of US$30,000 in grant money to two separate projects in Lebanon, as part of the 2018 its Conservation and Environmental Grants initiative. Arcenciel, based in Beirut, hopes to continue its Conservation Engineering assault on waste management systems in the country, while the Andre Nahhas Public High School for Girls plans to drive Environmental Education awareness off the coast of El Mina.
A repeat-winner of a Ford grant, putting in a successful bid for the fifth time, Lebanon’s Arcenciel will this year invest its US$15,000 in finalising its study on 11 strains of indigenous actinobacteria. The project’s main objective is to optimise the compost industry through the use of an innovative bacterial inoculum.
The result of the work completed by lead researching agronomist Abdo Tannoury and his team will allow Arcenciel to introduce a concept in composting engineering to local and international markets; a process that has never-before been scientifically developed, and one that takes into consideration the interaction of bath microbiota and used raw materials simultaneously.
It was a close contest between the top two projects in the Environmental Education category, where both Rehabilitation of Al Nakheel Island in El Mina by Andre Nahhas School in Lebanon, and the Halgurd-Sakran Park Project by Waterkeepers Iraq, each walked away with a US$15,000 bursary from Ford’s Conservation and Environmental Grants.
The former is specifically a project instigated by the Environment Club at Andre Nahhas Public High School for Girls, and it aims at restoring the ecological balance of Al Nakheel Island reserve off the coast of Tripoli in northern Lebanon. As well as bringing irrigation-suitable water, cleaning materials, and awareness boards to the island, the school will invest in palm seedlings, and fifty pairs of rabbits – plus feed for one year – bringing natural life back to the flat, rocky island of eroded limestone.
Apart from Lebanon, the latest recipients of Ford’s Conservation and Environmental Grants – awarded in the areas of Environmental Education, Natural Environment, and Conservation Engineering, with special categories including Best in Engaging Local Communities, and Beating Plastic Pollution – were successful applicants from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Morocco, with a total of US$101,500 made available.
“For nearly two decades, Ford Motor Company has been committed to conservation and sustainability in the region, with close to US$2 million granted to local environmental projects,” said Mark Ovenden, president of Ford Middle East and Africa. “Ford is very proud to empower individuals, and local organisations, who are dedicated to preserving the environmental well-being of their community. By providing necessary funding and visibility, Ford hopes to encourage the spread of similar grassroots efforts that will serve as catalysts for change across the globe.”