Promoting Climate Resilient Water Management and Agricultural Practices in Rural Cambodia

Project summary

Photo: UNDP Cambodia

The aim of the project is to make Cambodia’s agricultural sector less vulnerable to changes in the availability of water resources resulting from climate change. It will also contribute to the broader goal of enhancing adaptive capacity to prevent food insecurity in Cambodia induced by climate change. The project will work to increase awareness of climate change, demonstrate climate resilient practices in agriculture and water resource management and integrate responses into provincial, district and commune development plans. The project is the first designed to respond to the priorities identified in Cambodia’s National Adaptation Programme of Action to Climate Change (NAPA).

Key activities and expected results in 2015

  • Complete 32 final VRA in the four district in early fourth quarter
  • Support in the dissemination of early climatic information in 80 villages.
  • Continue to support  and promote the livelihood of vulnerability household in 65 villages
  • Strengthen the current groups:  solar powered pump, pump well, community pond, irrigation, farmer field school, seed purification, and group revolving fund.
  • 3 Farmer water user communities (FWUC) officially recognized.
  • Impact assessment, terminal evaluation, video documentary, Organize one national workshop, other communications and knowledge products

Contributing donors

Contributing donors Amount
CIDA  USD 2,242,425.90
UNDP USD 403,982.32

Project delivery in 2014

As of December 2014, the project accumulative delivery was USD 1,444,329.32.

Key achieved results

  • VRA and RGA was carried out in 16 new target communes, in which 2 communes were jointly done with SNC scale up project.
  • 1,489 commune councilors, group leaders and community members (875 women) in 4 target districts have attended dissemination workshops and have a better understanding on Gender and Climate Change, understand the impacts of climate change on women and men differently, and how the impacts can be mitigated, specifically for women and vulnerable groups.
  • The project works with the Department of Agriculture Land Management (DALM) to undertake soil assessment, soil/crop analysis to recommend appropriate resilient options based on soil types, crop suitability and the forecasted climatic information. The work is under progress. The draft technical report has been submitted to MAFF/PSU. DALM will conduct a stakeholder consultation meeting on suggested recommendations to present and collect feedback in quarter 1, 2015.
  • In 2014, it was estimated that 18,019 households in 80 villages received weather information and adapt themselves to the weather conditions. A follow up assessment on the use and impacts of EWS mechanism will be done in quarter 1, 2015
  • In 2014, to improve access to water for cropping and other domestic purposes, 2 community ponds, 35 solar pump systems (20 in Kratie and 15 in Preah Vihear) and 15 pump wells (in Preah Vihear) have been established in 37 villages and 1,481 households benefited from these water supply facilities. Based on recent field visit, about 50% of beneficiaries start practicing home-gardening and earn an average 30,000-50,000 Riels (US$7.5 – US$12.5) per day from selling their surplus vegetable to the local small market. Water User Groups (WUGs) have been also formed to manage those water supply systems. Users fee collection mechanisms are also in place. Roughly for each solar pump system, WUG could collect 300,000 Riels (US$75) per month.
  • To strengthen group sustainability of groups formed by the project, 414 Group Leaders and farmers (207 women) have received refresher training on group and revolving funds management.
  • With regard to effective use of water 2,752 farmers (1730 women) in 65 villages received technical knowledge and group leadership and water management through training and exchange visits.
  • 1,401 households of ID poor 1 and 2 selected in 4 target districts for the project phase 2.
  • Knowledge platform had been established between NAPA FU and PADEE, an IFAD supported project with focus given on agriculture extension and CCA in agriculture and water sectors.
  • Participated in joint reflection on Climate Change mainstreaming at sub-national planning process in collaboration with UNDP/SGP/CCBAP, LGCC2 and SNC Scale-Up project.
  • Hosted study visits for PADEE, an IFAD supported project and LGCC2.
  • Produce an Impact Assessment by SBK, a local consulting firm.
  • Contributed in Cambodia Climate Change Strategic Planning and Action Plan of MAFF. MAFF approved in early 2014.
  • Climate Change incorporated into the CIPs of 32 communes, 16 from phase 1 and 16 new communes under phase 2.
  • 3,394 vulnerable households in 65 villages from 22 communes (60% are women) benefited from investment support such as access to water for home garden and irrigation, and received technical know-how and agricultural inputs and farm tools to implement a resilient integrated packages.
  • Three new irrigation schemes (two in Kratie and one in Preah Vihear) have been rehabilitated in late 2014.  The schemes could potentially irrigate 541 hectares of paddy fields and benefit around 248 households.

Project background

Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which Cambodia joined in 2002, Least Developed Countries such as Cambodia are encouraged to develop NAPAs. Support for developing these NAPAs is provided through the Global Environment Facility, a multi-donor facility. Cambodia’s National Adaptation Programme of Action to Climate Change (NAPA) was endorsed by the Government in 2006. Cambodia’s NAPA identifies priority interventions, designed to address the urgent needs for adaptation in key sectors, primarily agriculture, water resources, the coastal zone and human health.

The NAPA outlines 39 “no regrets” adaptation projects, 20 of which focus on issues of water resources and agriculture. The projects were identified on the basis of gap and policy analysis, a field survey, consultations, expert reviews and an inter-ministerial review. They are aligned with Cambodia’s development objectives, which are outlined in the Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency (2004) and the National Strategic Development Plan (2006-2010).Promoting Climate Resilient Water Management and Agricultural Practices in Rural Cambodia is one of them. It is the first project to systematically address gaps in institutional and individual capacity in affected rural communities to manage agricultural water resources in a changing climate. It is also demonstrating resilient irrigation, freshwater management and farming options. As Cambodia has been undertaking a concerted effort of decentralization, these efforts are focusing primarily on provincial, district and communal planning systems. These include Commune Planning and Budgeting Committees, Commune Councils and Farmer Water User Committees.

The project is working in two contrasting agricultural districts, which were selected for their high vulnerability as well as for differences in agro-ecological and socio-economic circumstances. It is being implemented in partnership with the Rural Livelihoods Improvement Project, which is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and UNDP. Lessons learned will be replicated in other high-risk areas in Cambodia, and made accessible to other countries in the region.

Project overview
Project number
Total budget
US$ 2,646,318.22
Project starting date
September 2013
Estimated ending date
December 2015
Choam Khsan and Kulen districts (Preah Vihear Province) and Chit Borei and Sambo districts (Kratie Province)
UNDP Thematic Area
Environment and Energy
Millennium Development Goal
Cambodia MDG7: Ensure environmental sustainability
UNDP Country Programme
Outcome 2: By 2015, National and local authorities, communities and private sector are better able to sustainably manage ecosystems goods and services and respond to climate change
Output 1.4: Scaled-up action climate change adaption and mitigation across sectors which is funded and implemented.
Project officer
UNDP focal point

Ms Ratana Norng

Programme Analyst

United Nations Development Programme

No.53, Street 51, Boeung Keing Kang 1, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tel: +855 (0) 23 216 167




Project and Implementing partner

Mr Hok Kimthourn

National Project Manager

Project Support Unit, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Building no.200, Norodom Boulevard,

Sangkat Tonle Basac, Khan Chamkarmon,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Tel: (+855) 23993342