The situation in Cambodia
Cambodia is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world when it comes to climate change. This is a consequence of geographical and geological preconditions combined with weak capacity for adaptation. The impact of climate change is expected to amplify the many challenges facing Cambodia in terms of development.
Cambodia is expected to experience a more extreme climate with an increase of average temperatures and changes in rainfall. The prediction is that periods of severe water shortages and flooding will increase, which can result in crop failure and food shortages. Working conditions will also be affected by the changing temperatures. Furthermore, higher temperatures and humidity will create conditions for severe outbreaks of tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue fever and animal diseases. The negative consequences of climate change together with an unsustainable use of natural resources can already be observed in the loss of biodiversity in Cambodia.
The entire society will be affected by climate change in some way. Poor and marginalized groups in society will be most affected as they often lack the prerequisites to alternative coping strategies when crises arise. Moreover, the adaptation capacity to climate change and its effects is low in most parts of society, which increases the risk of a deepening spiral of poverty in Cambodia for the already marginalised.
The Swedish support
The current support in the area of climate change, environment and natural resources will be phased out until the end of June 2021, in line with the Government’s decision in June 2020 on the strategy for Sweden’s development cooperation with Cambodia.
In Cambodia, Sweden has supported institutional capacity building in government and civil society. As such, both policy level and grassroot level are reached. Swedish support has increased capacity and climate change integration into sectorial plans and policies, and increased implementation of climate change activities. The support has also contributed to making information on climate change more accessible through various media platforms. Furthermore, a platform aiming at strengthening Cambodian national systems for increased mobilization and coordination of climate change efforts has been established with Swedish support.
Support to civil society organisations has focused on capacity building. Previous pilot projects have contributed to economic benefits for several local communities. Farmers have gained knowledge and transformed traditional farming methods by using new methods for growing rice and adapting farming in drought and flood. Local organisations are furthermore involved with integrating climate change and disaster risk reduction into local level investment plans.
Examples of ongoing projects
Forum Syd: Go! Green Ownership 2017-2019
The programme aims at strengthening local civil society organisations in order to engage poor and vulnerable groups to manage the root causes for inequalities related to the use of and control over natural resources. Marginalised groups are supported to enable them to invoke their rights. Local authorities are receiving support to implement poverty-focused sustainable development plans on the management of natural resources and adaptation to climate change.
The contribution is an independent continuation on the previously supported programme "Forum Syd - Environment and Climate with human rights and gender perspective".
UNDP – Environmental Programme
The objective of this programme is to assist Cambodia in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related to Natural Resources Management (NRM) and biodiversity conservation; circular economy; and clean, affordable and sustainable energy. Within these target areas, innovative environmentally sustainable models are designed and tested through public-private partnerships and opportunities for scaling-up workable models are identified.
In the area of circular economy, current activities focus on reducing, recycling and reusing waste. Overall, the programme aims to promote the development of policies and a facilitation of a Technical Working Group on environment in order to strengthen coordination and information sharing on environmental issues.
Cambodia Climate Change Alliance (CCCA)
This comprehensive plan aims to generate a Cambodia development path that is increasingly climate-resilient and low carbon. Phase III of the support to CCCA will contribute to a scaled-up response to climate change with a focus on coordinating government institutions and line ministries. CCCA is a joint donor initiative between UNDP, the European Union and Sweden.
Key areas of intervention include climate change legal framework, national and sectoral monitoring and evaluation frameworks for climate change, testing and dissemination of adaptation/mitigation approaches, strengthening of planning and budgeting systems for the mainstreaming of climate change finance, and support to research, development and learning on climate change.