Climate change strategic plan disseminated

25 Jun 2014

imageA woman leads a discussion about integrating climate change issues into commune investment plan in Chong Ampil commune of Prey Veng province. (Photo: UNDP Cambodia)

Cambodia’s climate change strategic plan (CCCSP) is gradually making inroad in the provinces for subnational authorities to integrate into their development planning to improve its readiness in addressing climate change threats.

Ministry of Environment held a dissemination workshop in Phnom Penh on 25 June which was attended by representatives from government ministries, development partners and civil society organizations. It has previously conducted similar events in several provinces in a campaign to get the messages across to sub-national government bodies that fighting climate change is everyone’s business.

“The Strategic Plan being disseminated is a significant step taken by the government in shaping its path towards becoming a resilient and low-carbon development nation,” UNDP Country Director Setsuko Yamazaki said in her remarks at the workshop.

“This is particularly relevant to planners and practitioners at the sub-national level who are directly involved in supporting vulnerable communities to cope with the effects of climate change,” she added.

The country’s first-ever climate strategic blueprint, CCCSP was launched in November last year. It outlines the government’s vision for promoting climate-resilient development for the next 10 years with focus on adaptation activities aimed at strengthening community resilience.

The dissemination of CCCSP also takes place against the backdrop of new evidence to back up previous findings on Cambodia’s vulnerability to effects of climate change. A study by the United States’ credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, early this month placed Cambodia on the top of its list of 116 countries most vulnerable to climate change due to its heavy reliance on agricultural productivity, and weak capacity to cope with the changing climate patterns and extreme weather events such as drought and flood.

Ms. Yamazaki, UNDP Country Directory, said these consistent results from international reports have only amplified concern over the country’s ability to respond and call for immediate actions by all stakeholders.

While at the national level coordinated efforts have been made to integrate climate change into development plans, she said the spotlight is now gradually shifting to the needs to put in place local plans, capacities and investments to minimize climate change impacts on rural communities.

“[CCCSP] clearly is an ambitious plan that requires strong commitment and coordination from all stakeholders at both national and sub-national levels to align their work in contribution to this vision,” the country director said.