Ford Philippines announced yesterday that it will give out grants worth nearly a million Philippine pesos to local four conservation and environmental groups. That sounds like a lot, but it's really just over $23,000US. The awards are part of Ford Philippines annual Ecogrants program.
Only one of this year's grantees is related to carbon emissions or something else that we would usually report on, but this is an example of Ford's self-expressed statement that "Caring for the environment is part of the Ford DNA." The winners of the 2007 Ford Ecogrants were, in the words of Ford's announcment:
  1. Dr. Menandro Acda - for his project entitled "Recycling Waste Chicken Feathers For Low Cost Building Material in the Philippines". Dr. Acda is a repeat grantee from 2006. His project this year seeks to utilize the thousands of tons of chicken feathers as a binding agent for concrete blocks. The result is a cheap and effective building material which simultaneously rids farmers and the environment of thousands of tons of chicken feathers. The practice of the disposing of feathers through burning contributes to global warming while its burial takes years to decompose due to its keratin composition also badly contributing to the environment. The funding received from the Ford Ecogrants will be used for research and laboratory equipment as well as the procurement and transportation of the chicken feathers.
  2. Mr. Rodilo Lebino - For his project entitled, "Conservation and Rehabilitation of T'nalak Production" which seeks to reinvigorate the practices of the ethnic people of Cotabato in the ritual cloth weaving called T'nalak. The Ford grant money will be used to procure the weaving materials and implements for T'nalak production and training natives in the processes of T'nalak production.
  3. Clean and Green Foundation, Inc. - the Clean and Green foundations project, entitled "Orchids and Butterflies" seeks to create a greenhouse at the Orchidarium in Manila that will serve as a genuine repository and showcase area of endangered and rare Philippine flora.
  4. KLIMA- Climate Change Center – Manila Observatory – This repeat winner's project entitled "Schools on LOCo2 With The Low Carbon Diet For A Healthy Lifestyle," which is a continuation of last year's project seeks to promote awareness among the youth on global warming and harmful CO2 emissions. They aim to achieve this by creating educational and awareness materials in the form of posters, flyers and panels which they then tour around different schools. They also have talks and fora where students can get more information on global warming. The Ford grant money will be used to develop new educational material and awareness-generating campaigns.
In the eight years that these Ecogrants have been given out, 62 groups have received over 18 million Philippine pesos.

[Source: Ford Philippines]

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