The Ministry of Environment and the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance met to discuss climate change policies on Monday in Siem Reap province.
Officials said more work needs to be done to promote awareness and ensure resistance to climate change in communities across the nation, especially the most vulnerable.
Tin Ponlok, secretary general of the ministry’s national council for sustainable development, said the government has tackled climate change head-on through strategic development plans.
“We discussed technical issues about climate change, and also projects conducted by communities that we can fund to increase awareness about climate change issues,” he said. “The government has plans that address climate change issues as it has been recognised as a hindrance to development.”
Mr Ponlok added that the government continues to focus on the 2013-2030 Green Development Strategic Plan in response to climate change.
According to the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development Secretariat, climate change was exemplified in flooding in 2013 and 2015 and drought in 2016 that cost the agricultural sector, combined with infrastructure damages, about $356 million.
Ny Kim San, project coordinator with the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development Secretariat, said climate change affects the poor the most as they rely on agriculture.
“Climate change is a major threat at present and in the future, especially for the poor in the country who rely on agriculture,” he said. “Cambodia is a country vulnerable to climate change because Cambodia’s adaptation ability is still low and the country’s economy mainly depends on the sectors that heavily rely on the conditions of weather.”
Mr Kim San said the government is addressing climate change through policies and noted that the country ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1995 and joined the Kyoto Protocol in 2002.
CCCA is an initiative co-founded by the European Union and the UNDP to address climate change issues and strengthen national systems to support coordination and implementation of Cambodia’s climate change response.
Thanks to financial support from the European Union, CCCA has provided resources for climate change capacity building and implementation at national and sub-national levels since 2010.