During the period 2006-2007, a National Capacity Self-Assessment (NCSA) was conducted in Cambodia. This extensive assessment identified a large number of common issues and capacity needs related to the implementation of MEAs in Cambodia. It found that “existing thematic capacities in Cambodia are severely lacking, over-all. Capacities to attend to the thematic concerns and meet the obligations to all three Conventions are almost all weak”. This assessment concluded that “the cross-cutting capacity needs, which address broad national conditions of the economy and socio-political system of Cambodia that constrain the thematic capacities, are essentially at the highest levels of government and Cambodian society”. This assessment identified a list of priority actions including the need for better coordination for the implementation of the Rio Conventions, more public awareness and the need to mainstream the environment into policies, plans and programmes.
Among the barriers identified through this assessment, one was the capacity to develop clear procedures, systems and tools on forming environmental policies and on selecting natural resources management strategies; including generating and updating data and information on environmental systems and on sharing them with different users and decision makers.
It is the government of Cambodia’s intent to harmonize its environmental management information systems, which is a perfect opportunity/entry point to mainstream global environment issues in the national development framework through better environmental information, hence for GEF to step in and complement the baseline. The allocation of the GEF increment and the government co-financing of project activities, demonstrate the proposed partnership. It will complement the baseline and strengthen the implementation of the Rio Conventions in Cambodia. The project will improve Cambodia’s environmental information base and the use of this knowledge for decision-making.
KEY EXPECTED RESULTS
The expected achievements of this project are a set of improved capacities to meet and sustain Rio Convention objectives. This project will have strengthened and helped institutionalize commitments under the Rio Conventions by harmonizing the existing national environmental management information systems, by improving the use of this environmental knowledge for better decision-making and by improving the coordination of the implementation of the Rio Conventions in Cambodia. It will also strengthen the capacity of Cambodia to report on the MEAs implementation in Cambodia. The Strategic Results Framework on which the intervention logic is based is outlined in Annex 2 of this project document. This Framework also outlines the indicators, sources of verification and risks and assumptions pertaining to the project objective and outcomes.
The implementation of the project will achieve two expected outcomes:
 Improved access and generation of information related to the three Rio Conventions
 Improved use of information and knowledge related to the Rio Conventions
 Improved access and generation of information related to the three Rio Conventions:
a. A harmonized information management system covering the three Rio Conventions.
b. A common clearinghouse mechanism for the three Rio Conventions.
c. Existing stakeholder platforms strengthened in order to increase stakeholder engagement in Convention related dialogues.
d. Strengthened coordination between key sectors to address biodiversity, climate change and land degradation issues at systemic and institutional levels.
 Improved use of information and knowledge related to the Rio Conventions:
a. Innovative tools piloted for decision-making using the economic valuation of the use of natural resources.
b. Strengthened capacity of existing national implementing institutions on negotiation skills and national preparatory process for COPs and other related meetings for the Rio conventions.
c. A unified reporting process on the implementation status of the three Rio Conventions.