Cambodia Climate Change Alliance

“… Climate change is becoming a constant threat, as drought and flooding have become more severe and frequent... Cambodia had successfully launched the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance to strengthen national institutions.”
H.E. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister, at the 66th Session of the General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly, 26 September 2011

Cambodia’s vulnerability to climate change is linked to its characteristics as a post-civil war, developing, agrarian country, with 80% of the population relying on subsistence crop production in rural areas, combined with a weak adaptive capacity and limited infrastructure. Climate change is a threat to life, livelihoods and life-supporting systems. It is expected to compound and amplify already existing development challenges, through more severe water scarcity and more frequent floods, resulting in agricultural failure and food shortages, and through the accelerated loss of biodiversity and decline in ecosystem services. It may also have health implications in the form of higher incidence of malaria and dengue.  

Climate change must move up on the political agenda, not as an environmental issue alone, but recognised as a challenge to human development and economic growth. Adaptation and mitigation must be addressed in a broad development context, and the effects of climate change recognized as an additional threat to poverty reduction and sustainable development. Climate change is a cross-cutting issue that calls for coordination and integration, both horizontally across sectors and vertically through different levels of society.

“Cambodia must prepare itself to exist under climate change scenario. This requires us to formulate new policy and adjust our strategy and practices in all socio-economic aspects to ensure sustainable development in the climate change context.”
H.E. Dr Mok Mareth, Senior Minister and Minister of Environment, at the opening session of Cambodia’s Second National Forum on Climate Change, 3 October 2011

Strengthening capacity, laying the foundations for a national climate change trust fund

The programme aims to strengthen the capacity of the National Climate Change Committee (NCCC) to fulfil its mandate to address climate change, and to enable line ministries and civil society organisations to implement priority climate change actions.

The Cambodia Climate Change Alliance (CCCA) set up with GCCA support constitutes a unified engagement point for development partners, and a multi-donor financial facility to provide resources for climate change capacity building at national and local government level. It also offers a mechanism for knowledge sharing and learning about climate change which extends beyond the government to civil society and the broader community.

Main expected results and activities 

NCCC capacity to coordinate national policy making, capacity development, outreach / advocacy efforts, and to monitor the implementation of national climate change strategy, policy and plans is strengthened.

Support is given for the adoption of national climate change policy and legislation that reflect national development priorities. Capacity building activities are undertaken to strengthen various aspects of the response to climate change, including the capacity of the NCCC and Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Environment to deliver on their mandated roles; Cambodia's negotiation capacity on climate change matters; and its ability to comply with UNFCCC obligations.

Multi-stakeholder climate change mainstreaming roadmaps, guidelines and concepts are also prepared for progressive integration into sector activities at national and sub-national level.

A platform is established providing Cambodia with improved access to updated climate-related information and knowledge, and learning opportunities on climate change.

A multi-stakeholder climate change information sharing and knowledge management platform is established. A climate change outreach and learning campaign is initiated, targeting all regions and vulnerable groups and addressing gender issues.

NCCC capacity to mobilise and effectively administer climate change funds, and to prepare for  nationally-owned financing mechanisms, is strengthened.

A mechanism is established for providing financial resources from the CCCA Trust Fund to climate change initiatives in Cambodia. Based on the experience of the CCCA Trust Fund, the legal framework for the establishment of nationally-owned climate change financing mechanisms is explored and proposed.

For further information

A description of the CCCA project is available on the Climate Change Department's website.

Key achievements 

In support of climate change capacity building, coordination and mainstreaming:

    • The programme is supporting the capacity of Cambodia to participate in climate change negotiations through the drafting of position papers, support to Cambodia delegates to attend regional and global climate change negotiation forums (including annual Conferences of the Parties to the UNFCCC), and the sharing of negotiation outcomes. In February 2013, for example, a COP outcomes dissemination workshop was organised to share key outcomes of the Doha climate conference of November-December 2012; it was attended by around 100 key stakeholders from government institutions, development partners, civil society organisations and the media.
    • Continuing support is being provided for capacity building for NCCC, CCTT and CCD members and their participation in international meetings. The draft of Cambodia’s position for COP 19 has been prepared and reviewed by MoE.
    • The Climate Change Technical Team (CCTT) has been established as an inter-ministerial technical body that plays a technical and advisory role to the NCCC. Its members have notably been involved in the development of sectoral climate change strategic plans. All key line ministries have now finalised their sectoral climate change strategic plans, which are being reviewed for publishing. Line ministries now continue to cooperate actively in the preparation of the national climate change strategy.
    • The Cambodia Climate Change Strategic Plan (CCCSP) has been peer reviewed, endorsed in principle by the NCCC and submitted to the Prime Minister for endorsement. 
    • All 9 line ministries are preparing climate change action plans for the implementation of their sectoral climate change strategic plans.
    • Climate change has been integrated as a cross-cutting issue in the guidelines of the Ministry of Planning for the preparation of line ministries’ contribution to the next National Strategic Development Plan (2014-2018). The CCCA is now supporting the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDD) in preparing guidelines for integrating climate change into sub-national planning. The NCDD is leading efforts to document lessons learned from pilot projects and integrate them into the guidelines.
    • The development of a national monitoring and evaluation framework for climate change is under way.
    • Consultations with key stakeholders for the development of the climate change legal framework are taking place.

In support of climate change information and knowledge sharing:

    • Two key national reports have been produced: a study illustrating perceptions of climate change in Cambodian society, and the Cambodian Human Development Report entitled Building resilience: The future of rural livelihoods in the face of climate change’.
    • The Third National Forum on Climate Change is planned for 5-7 November 2013. This will be presided over by the Prime Minister with some 700 participants expected at the opening session.
    • A Climate Change Education and Awareness Strategy has been finalised. It places a strong emphasis on knowledge and information structures (knowledge and information platform), systems (methods and standard operating procedures) and tools (education campaigns and communication materials development).
    • A new Climate Change Department website was launched in November 2012. It provides user-friendly and flexible functions to update climate change information and inform the public about the activities of the NCCC and CCCA, and serves as an on-line knowledge and information platform that allows all key stakeholders to generate and share climate change information. The site is receiving around 1 500 visits per quarter. A climate change communication platform involving line ministries and civil society organisations has also been established.
    • Climate change communication meetings are on-going where stakeholders are discussing climate change communication and education, sharing communication materials, strengthen networks and synergize efforts and initiatives.
    • A climate change advocacy video has been produced and climate change knowledge is being spread widely to sub-national levels through the organisation of provincial training events.

  • Increased awareness and information sharing with the Cambodian public are also promoted through the establishment of climate change library corners in 3 universities, namely Royal University of Phnom Penh, Royal University of Agriculture and Pannasastra University of Cambodia.
  • Media training was conducted in March 2013 to raise climate change awareness among journalists from 14 provinces.

“Media play a crucial role in helping people to effectively respond to climate change by disseminating timely and accurate information.”
H.E Dr. Mok Mareth, Senior Minister, Minister of Environment on 7th March 2013, in the opening ceremony of the Media Training on Climate Change

In support of the mobilisation and administration of climate change funding:

  • Eight projects were selected under the CCCA’s first call for proposals and launched in February 2011. These are all now completed and to date some 10,000 households have benefited from CCCA funded adaptation pilots. A first experience-sharing workshop was held in January 2013, and lessons learned from this first round of grants are being documented. A final review was conducted in March 2013, and noted positive change both in terms of adaptive capacity for target beneficiaries and capacity development for concerned implementing organisations to integrate climate change in their programming. Factsheets on specific pilots and two practice notes are currently being developed.
  • Eleven projects were selected under the CCCA’s second call for proposals, launched in April 2012. All of them are now under implementation.
  • Under the Coastal Adaptation and Resilience Planning Component, a climate change vulnerability and risk assessment of community livelihoods, including potential scenarios and impacts until 2100, has been finalised. A report on coping strategies applied in the target areas (Koh Kong and Sihanoukville) has been produced, as well as a review and assessment of present agricultural practices. The project has also conducted cost-benefit analyses for the proposed demonstration activities, with a focus on livelihoods enhancement and no-regrets solutions, as well as several assessments and consultations which have led to the selection of six climate change adaptation pilot projects in Koh Kong and Sihanoukville.
  • A Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review has been finalised and discussed with members of the CCTT. The study provides an overview of climate-related public expenditures in Cambodia and includes recommendations to develop national capacities to efficiently manage climate change finance. Follow-up activities have been included in a work plan for the development of a climate change financing framework, which will be implemented in 2013.
Lessons learned 
  • Several projects have faced difficulties to implement their activities in time before the rainy season, due to initial start-up delays. More generally, it seems that a 15 to 18 months timeframe for adaptation pilots is quite short, as projects only have one annual cycle of dry/rainy season to put in place the activities and draw lessons. A 2-year timeframe may be more appropriate for this type of project.
  • Climate change is a new concept that is not always easy to grasp for local communities and officials. There is a need to strengthen awareness-raising and training approaches in this area, to monitor which approaches work best and ensure that the messages delivered are consistent and of good quality. The CCCA is providing support to grantees on these issues.
  • NGOs and the private sector are showing strong interest in the development of the Cambodia Climate Change Strategic Plan and related consultation. This provides an opportunity to establish working platforms for further collaboration between governmental agencies, NGOs and the private sector.
  • Guidelines relating to the Climate Change Education and Awareness Strategy were developed ahead of the CCCSP; as a result, integrating the former into the latter involved some challenges.
  • Capacity building and technical support for key line ministries are needed to support implementation of the Climate Change Education and Awareness Strategy.
  • Any publications have to be carefully proofread; they require both technical and political acceptance.
Way forward 
  • Further strengthening of NCCC and CCTT capacity and visibility will take place through CCCA resources to allow the NCCC to be more actively involved in making policy decisions, starting with the CCCSP review and approval process.
  • A chapter on climate change will be included in the new National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP), and climate change mainstreamed into relevant sectors of the NSDP.
  • A climate change financing framework will be developed to support resource mobilisation for the CCCSP. It is to be endorsed by the NCCC following consultations with all stakeholders.
  • Key stakeholders will get support to integrate the climate change communication strategy into their sector strategies and action plans.
  • The CCCA communication and visibility plans will be implemented to raise the visibility of the programme.
  • Public understanding of climate change will continue to be raised through radio and video programmes and outreach.
  • To support the dissemination of good adaptation practices, knowledge products must be developed on the basis of lessons learned from grant projects.
  • Sub-national training on climate change will continue to be provided in the northern part of the country.
  • A concept note on potential CCCA objectives post June 2014 will be developed.