INTEWO | World Habitat Society GmbH and National Earth Secrets LLC have been awarded with the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grant 2011. „The Geological Heritage of Oman“ is the title of the project, which is among this year’s laureates of the prestige Environmental Grant.
Since 2009 the German and Oman companies cooperate in different activities, developing sustainable geotourism and environmental education in the Sultanate. The comprehensive concept is aiming towards promoting and conserving the unique geological heritage in Oman, with performing different project features. Key elements of the project include the development of a GPS-based geotourism guide for the Muscat region, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism; the support of a cooperation between partners from the Nature Park Teutoburger Wald / Eggegebirge, promoting tourism and education for sustainable development; an annual student exchange with tourism students from Sultan Qaboos University; a geological movie project in Oman, in cooperation with the University of Applied Science Ostwestfalen-Lippe; and other activities supporting the rapprochement of cultures and promoting the German-Oman cooperation.
With support of the Ford Environmental Grant another ambitious project will be initiated. Key geological attractions in Oman will be exposed in a „Virtual Museum of Geology“. With support of latest technology high quality panorama images of selected geological hot spots will be produced and exhibited in an online museum, where one will be able to discover the hidden secrets of geology. Complemented with comprehensive information, the virtual museum will allow access to inaccessible locations and will provide knowledge about fascinating geological and geomorphological processes.
Ford‘s Conservation & Environmental Grants programme has become an annual event in the Middle East. Since its inception in 2000, the GCC/Levant chapter of the grants programme has supported at least 130 projects with more than US-$1 million granted to date. The programme has seen support from various governmental and non-governmental environmental authorities including the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Emirates Wildlife Society and the Arab Forum for Environment & Development (AFED). In 2011, the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants programme joined hands with the UNESCO, providing support to creative projects focused on Conservation Engineering, Protection of the Natural Environment and Environmental Education.
The award ceremony took place in Dubai and was performed by representatives from the UNESCO Doha Office and Ford Middle East. The keynote speech was held by the guest of honor, H.H. Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, member of the ruling family of the Emirate of Ajman, also know as the „Green Sheikh“.
INTEWO | World Habitat Society’s Managing Partner, Mr. Henning Schwarze and National Earth Secret’s CEO, Mr. Khalid Nasser Al Toubi received the award on behalf of the joint international program.