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Ford Motor Company will award a total of $100,000 to support environmental projects in the Middle East region.

Until 14 September 2014, the auto manufacturer’s Conservation & Environmental Grants division will invite grants from existing environmental projects in the Middle East.

For the first time in its history, the programme has been extended to cover projects in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, as well as in Yemen and the GCC countries.

“As we look back on the programme’s heritage in the region, we are increasingly aware of the impactthe Ford Grants could have had on the local communities where we serve our customers, supporting environmental groups and helping educate the public on important issues,” said Kalyana Sivagnanam, director of Ford Middle East & North Africa.

“We are proud of the Ford Grants initiative in this region and for all the projects it has helped to go further,” he added.

The Ford Grants programme, which will celebrate its 15th anniversary next year, is designed to support grass-roots level projects in the Middle East. So far, the scheme has helped more than 150 green initiatives with more than $1mn allocated since its establishment in 2000.

In 2013, 17 environmental projects from across the region received funding as part of the initiative. Themes ranged from awareness campaigns about saving water, removing waste, and renewable energy, to a smartphone app that enables users to conduct simple energy audits at home and within their neighbourhoods.

Four UAE-based projects shared a total of $21,500 under Ford Grants in 2013. Biosphere Expeditions received $5,000 for a project for the conservation of desert species. The grant is being used to involve the community in conservation efforts through education, training, capacity-building, and direct, hands-on involvement in the field.

The scheme has also enjoyed support from a number of environmental authorities, both governmental and non-governmental, including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS), the Arab Forum for Environment & Development (AFED), and UNESCO Doha.

Successful applicants are selected by an independent panel of jurors, consisting of academics and experts from environmental organisations.