Cambodia is one of the countries selected worldwide for the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), which aims to demonstrate ways in integrating climate risk and resilience into development planning. With support from ADB and the World Bank Group, the Government of Cambodia (the Government) prepared the Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR), comprising seven investment projects and the proposed technical assistance (TA). The resource envelope for SPCR is $385 million including $86 million from PPCR and $299 million in co-financing from ADB and other development partners. The PPCR sub-committee endorsed SPCR in June 2011.
The TA will promote synergies between CCA and disatser risk reduction, sets up a common framework for monitoring and evaluation of all SPCR projects, and develops a knowledge and communications plan for each component that will be critical to sustaining the impact and effectiveness of current and future climate resilience investments. The TA will (i) strengthen capacity to coordinate all SPCR investments and to mainstream adaptation concerns into national and sub-national planning, budgeting and development in Cambodia; (ii) conduct feasibility studies for priority projects of the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) with a view to secure additional funds from sources such as Adaptation Fund and Green Climate Fund; (iii) establish a civil society support mechanism to fund community-based adaptation activities and strengthen capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to mainstream climate resilience into their operations; and (iv) generate and disseminate knowledge for climate change adaptation (CCA) in various sectors.
The expected impact of the TA is enhanced resilience to climate change in Cambodia leading to improved livelihoods, especially for vulnerable groups including women and children. By 2022, the number of households affected and economic losses resulting from extreme climate events will be reduced by 20% from the 2012 baseline. The expected outcome of the TA is sustained institutional and technical capacity to integrate adaptation concerns into development. By 2018, agreed strategies on adaptation will be integrated into at least three sectors. Also, at least 25% of projects in water resources, agriculture, transport, water supply and sanitation will be climate-proofed. By the TA end, it is expected that (i) risk screening tools are applied for projects in irrigation, flood prevention, agriculture, biodiversity, roads, water supply and sanitation, and urban development; and (ii) vulnerability assessments incorporating climate information are performed for projects determined at risk in key sectors.
The TA is expected to deliver four outputs:
1. SPCR coordination, technical support and capacity strengthened to mainstream climate change adaptation into development planning
2. Detailed feasibility studies conducted for selected NAPA priority projects to obtain international funding
3. Civil society support mechanism established and capacity of NGOs to mainstream adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) into their operations strengthened
4. Climate change adaptation knowledge toolkits and products are developed, managed and disseminated
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Cambodia is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. Its high vulnerability is due its low adaptive capacity and high reliance on climate-sensitive sectors such as water resources and agriculture. Infrastructure-related losses from impacts of climate change such as floods are also high. The 2011 floods alone, for example, caused an estimated $451 million in damages and $174 million in losses. Analysis of 14 general circulation models suggests that rainy season will commence later, wet season rainfall will increase (bringing more flooding) and dry season rainfall will decrease (leading to droughts). Damage from typhoons may be severe in future. Cambodia's 435 km coastline and large parts of the Mekong River flood plain may be affected by sea level rise, which is projected to make more areas vulnerable to floods, salinity intrusion, and coastal inundation with adverse implications for food and water security, and infrastructure stability. Climate change thus poses a serious threat to sustainable development in Cambodia.
Cambodia has shown strong commitment to address climate change by ratifying the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1996 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2003. In 1999, MOE created a Climate Change Office, which was elevated to the Department of Climate Change in 2010. In 2006, it established the National Committee on Climate Change (NCCC) comprising high-level representatives from 20 ministries. The Prime Minister has been the honorary chair of NCCC since 2009. In October 2006, the Government completed the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA), which included 39 priority adaptation projects in sectors such as agriculture, water resources, coastal zone management, and human health. In March 2009, the Government launched the Strategic National Action Plan (SNAP) for disaster risk reduction (DRR), 2008-2013, which covers many themes on climate change adaptation (CCA). In addition, the Government has begun preparing the Cambodian Climate Change Strategic Plan to provide a strategic framework for responding to climate change.
Notwithstanding the above, the impacts of climate change on economic performance and the achievement of long-term socio-economic objectives are not yet well articulated. Also development planning in key sectors (water resources, agriculture, transport, urban planning) does not consider risks associated with climate change. This is primarily due to constraints that include (i) limited awareness of climate change impacts on sector projects and programs; (ii) inadequate availability and access to reliable data, information and assessments of local vulnerabilities and impacts; (iii) limited institutional capacities; and (iv) limited financial resources. Also there has been slow progress in coordinating adaptation investments, piloting adaptation interventions, and in scaling up best practices. Therefore, targeted assistance to overcome such barriers and enhance the capacity for mainstreaming adaptation and disaster risk reduction into development planning, combined with other initiatives to strengthen collaborative mechanisms for dissemination of climate change information, is considered crucial and timely.
The proposed TA supports Cambodia's National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP update: 2009-2013) and its objectives. The NSDP provides the roadmap for implementation of "Phase II Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency", which aims at enhancing public institutional capacity, promoting good governance, and modernizing infrastructure in order to foster economic growth, create jobs for all citizens, ensure social equity, and increase public sector efficiency as well as protect natural and cultural resources, which are vital for sustainable development and poverty reduction. The TA directly supports NAPA through undertaking feasibility studies for priority projects, and the SNAP through enhancing capacity to mainstream DRR into national, sector and local development policies and plans. It also supports the 2010-2019 implementation plans for decentralization and de-concentration under the National Program for Sub-National Democratic Development, which calls for mainstreaming climate change at sub-national levels.
The proposed TA closely aligns with ADB Strategy 2020, Southeast Asia Department's Climate Change Implementation Plan and various sector Assessment, Strategy and Roadmaps. It has strong synergies with the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) 2011-2013, which recognizes the need to increase institutional and human capacity to (i) mainstream climate change in sector analysis, planning and project design; (ii) improve approaches to resource conservation in the Tonle Sap basin; (iii) coordinate national and sub-regional programs on climate change and the environment; and (iv) access finance from internal and external sources to support climate change activities in new and existing projects. The TA provides an overarching framework to support the 7 ADB investment projects related to water resources, agriculture, and infrastructure. Coordination, monitoring and evaluation of all SPCR investments, knowledge generation, and additional fund generation for unfunded adaptation projects are all critical activities of PPCR, and the proposed TA is aimed at fulfilling such roles. The TA builds on and promotes synergies with work being undertaken under Phase 1 of PPCR and other initiatives such as the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance . The TA also provides strong links with other ADB projects which include adaptation activities and adaptation projects of other bilateral development partners such as JICA, AusAID, IDRC and others.