Planning to Promote Climate Resilience in Cambodia’s Development

by Mom Chantara Soleil and Tiep Seiha

Plan International Cambodia will use capacity building plan and methodology generated from today’s inception workshop here in Phnom Penh to strengthen climate resilience in the operation of community-based civil society organizations in the country.

The endeavor is part of the Mainstreaming Climate Resilience into Development Planning umbrella-intervention of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Asia Development Bank.

“Plan International Cambodia treasures partnership approach with all actors for bold and lasting impacts. The results of the workshop will guide the way we should work together to build resilience in the communities most affected by climate change,” said Mr. Jan Jaap Kleinrensink, Country Director of Plan International Cambodia.

The director of the international child right organization made the remark to some sixty participating officials from government’s bodies and development agencies with expertise in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

Running for three years, it is the second intervention entrusted by the Royal Government of Cambodia and Asia Development Bank to Plan International Cambodia – a dedicated NGO who believes in empowering local agencies for a sustainable development.

“Climate change is a global phenomenon. Cambodia is a disaster prone area and deserves a strong support. To address the issue, we need the cooperation among all concerned stakeholders. Many development agencies have not yet mainstreamed climate resilience in their work. Plan International Cambodia will address the gap which will benefit those most suffered from the impact of the climate change in the country,” said Dr. Ancha Srinivasan, ADB Principal Climate Change Specialist, South East Asia Department.

According to a global study, over the last decade disasters have claimed over 600,000 lives and affected over 2.4 billion people. Many live in the world’s poorest countries, making them more vulnerable to destructive impacts.

For the millions made homeless, countless more lose their livelihoods, have to start shattered lives literally from scratch. Years of development gains are lost, sinking millions into poverty and putting them further at risk on the firing line for the next wave of natural hazards turning into disasters.

Cambodia was ranked the 8th most disaster prone country in the world by the World Risk Index 2012.The main natural hazards to which Cambodia is exposed to include floods, flash flood and Mekong river flood. Other natural hazards include drought, storm, occasional epidemics, climate change, forest fire, man-made; and technological hazards.

Floods have affected the greatest number of people in urban and rural Cambodia and caused the greatest amount of damage during the period 1987 to 2013.

“Today’s consultation and the next step implementation will contribute to sustainable social and economic development in Cambodia. It will eventually promote the livelihood and build climate resilience in grassroots communities,” said Environment Secretary of State H.E. Dr. Sabo Ojano.

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