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Call opened for 2023 Ford Environmental Grants Program

Ford has announced the open call for the 22nd edition of its annual Ford Environmental Grants program, through which $46,000 will be distributed among community initiatives that positively impact the environment in Puerto Rico and explicitly contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The open call period, during which nonprofit organizations can submit their projects to the program, will be open until May 31.

The Ford Environmental Grants program, focusing on sustainability and natural resource conservation, has provided more than $1.9 million in funding to numerous environmental projects across Central America and the Caribbean

The program will accept proposals in four categories. The first, Conservation and Recovery of Biodiversity, includes projects related to the protection, recovery and conservation of ecosystems, their flora and fauna, and water resources. The second category, Food Security, focuses on ecological agriculture projects and those related to the sustainable management of ecosystems, which “are strategic for the availability, access and consumption of healthy food in vulnerable communities,” Ford said in its announcement.

The third category, Waste Management, covers projects that contribute to reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering waste generated in communities while promoting a culture of proper waste management. The fourth category, Renewable Energies, emphasizes projects that promote the use of energy sources based on renewable natural resources “as a way of contributing to the fight against climate change,” the company added.

The environmental projects submitted for evaluation must already be in the execution stage in Puerto Rico and have relevant preliminary results.

Interested parties can visit DonativosAmbientalesFord.com to complete the application form and obtain more information regarding the program’s details, terms and conditions. The website also provides an option for participants to register for a virtual workshop, scheduled for May 11 at 11 a.m., that will be held to explain the registration process and answer questions from the participants

The winners of the environmental grants will be selected by a panel of experts based on criteria such as contribution to sustainable development, community impact, multisector alliances and multiplier effect. The panel includes Jorge Bauzá-Ortega, scientific director of the San Juan Bay Estuary Program; Yogani Govender, dean of Sciences and Technology of the Laboratory of Climatic and Ecological Studies at InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico; Robert J.W. Mayer Arzuaga, director of Vida Marina: Center for Conservation and Ecological Restoration at the University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla Campus.

Glorimar Toledo, coordinator of Conservation/Biodiversity Projects for Para la Naturaleza, and Perla Sofía Curbelo, founder and director of Agrochic, will also be part of the panel that selects the winners.

“The winning projects of Ford Environmental Grants exemplify the commitment and union of wills of the organizations that constantly work in Puerto Rico for the progress of their communities. We are proud to promote their initiatives that not only help to achieve a sustainable future, but also promote social and economic development,” said Vivian T. Dávila, public affairs and communications manager for Ford in Central America and the Caribbean.

An impact report conducted by Sinergia507, a consulting firm specializing in sustainability and social responsibility, found that the winning projects of the 2021 Ford Environmental Grants positively affected the quality of life for 10,622 people on the island. These projects had a significant impact on several UN Sustainable Development Goals, including ending hunger, ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages, guaranteeing sustainable consumption and production patterns, taking urgent action to combat climate change and its effects, and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.

The winning projects will continue to be carried out, Ford said, adding that half of them will maintain their current scope, while the other half will work to scale their future impact.

The four winning projects of the 2022 Ford Environmental Grants program were: Las Mujeres Sembramos, Huerto Riachuelo, Rehabilitación Comunitaria de los Arrecifes Urbanos de San Juan and Raíces Urbanas. These will also be evaluated to determine their environmental and social impact.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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