Good Practices for integrating climate change adaptation: Lessons from Local Partners in Cambodia
The weather events that result from the changes in the earth’s temperature caused by global warming have far-reaching impacts on the livelihoods of Cambodians. Women, people who are very poor and indigenous people often suffer the worst effects of severe weather events and unpredictable weather and climate patterns.
The Royal Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of the Environment reported data in October 2011 that showed that Cambodian rainfall levels and temperature have already changed and are expected to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Many local and international organisations operating in Cambodia are concerned with the increasingly strong flooding and extended dry periods that are affecting rice production and the ability of people to sustain their livelihoods.
Cambodia is primarily an agricultural country. Many people depend on the land, fisheries, and forests to sustain the economy and their families. When the weather systems change — resulting in increased temperatures, delayed rainfall and severe floods — crops are threatened, forests are at risk, and fish populations suffer. In fact, the floods of 2011 were the reason Germanwatch, a Bonn based environmental think tank that issued the Global Climate Risk index in December 2012, ranked Cambodia and Thailand as the top two countries in the world affected by climate change.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments around the world are taking steps to help communities adapt to the changing circumstances created from the increase in the earth’s temperature. Strategies to address the impacts of climate change are generally grouped into four areas: 1) raising awareness of climate change, 2) building the community capacity to adapt their current practices to a changing climate, 3) reducing the factors that cause climate change, and; 4) developing tools for community participation and advocacy to deal with climate change on local, national and international levels.
To implement these practices on a local level in communities across Cambodia, the JCCI developed a comprehensive programme that engaged 22 Cambodian organisations in a multi-year process of learning, planning, doing, reflecting, evaluating and sharing information and tools with community members.