New Danish and Swedish initiative to address climate change impacts

With support from among others Swedish SIDA and Danish DANIDA, Cambodia has recently launched a fresh initiative aimed at tackling the challenges posed by climate change to support sustainable development of the country in the future.
The Cambodia Climate Change Alliance (CCCA) was unveiled during a resent ceremony at the Ministry of Environment, where development partners also announced a US$8.9 million trust fund to support its implementation.

HE Dr. Mok Mareth, Senior Minister and Minister of Environment and Chairman of the National Climate Change Committee, presided over the event which was also attended by representatives of Delegation of the European Union, UNDP, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Danish International Development Agency (Danida) and other key development partners.

The minister called the launch of the CCCA “a new turning point in addressing climate change in Cambodia.”

“We are moving from a stand-alone project-based approach toward a more comprehensive programmatic approach, in which the National Climate Change Committee will play the leading role in the implementation in accordance with the national priorities and needs while ensuring national ownership, accountability transparency, efficiency and sustainability.  I think these particular features make this new initiative different from previous projects,” he said.

The CCCA is an innovative multi-donor initiative designed to enhance capacity of the government’s institutions, authorities at the local level, and civil society groups to manage threat and opportunities posed by climate change. The initiative is supported by the Climate Change Trust Fund which has so far secured approximately US$8.9 million in contribution, for a period of three years, namely from the EU (US$3.2 million), UNDP (US$3 million), Sida (US$2.1 million), and Danida (US$0.5 million).

The contribution marks a significant step following the First National Forum on Climate Change in October 2009, where calls for financial support were made to help Cambodia, a least developed country, to minimize impacts of climate change and pursue more environment-friendly policies and practices.

“The potential negative effects of climate change will certainly not stop at food security and energy security in this part of the world. Further knowledge is needed to assess how and where impacts of climate change may produce instability and affect security issues including human security,” said Mr. Rafael Dochao Moreno, Chargé d’ Affaires a.i. of EU Delegation to Cambodia.

He added that there is still a high level of uncertainty especially in the indirect or potential cascading impacts of climate change in Cambodia and therefore the CCCA “will provide demand-driven institutional support to Cambodia to be better prepared for such impacts.”

UNDP’s partnership with the Cambodian government on climate change goes back more than 12 years ago, starting with support for its participation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the preparation of the Initial National Communication to the UNFCCC.

This relationship has continued with the preparation of the National Adaptation Programme of Action on Climate Change – the NAPA. In addition, UNDP is currently supporting the preparation of the Second National Communication to the UNFCCC and the implementation of the first NAPA project on Climate Resilient Water Management and Agricultural Practices.

UNDP Country Directory Jo Scheuer said the organisation was very pleased to be a part of the new initiative to help Cambodia to build a “stronger, more resilient and climate-aware society.”

“UNDP recognizes that it cannot achieve the results necessary to respond to climate change, either at grassroots or policy level, if we act alone, or in isolation from other initiatives. This is why the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance represents such an important step,” he said.

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