The UN Development Program, the European Union and several other international donors launched the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance yesterday. Donor representatives said the project would function as a hub for climate change issues and provide training and technical know how to the government and civil society groups, while also supporting climate change projects through an $8.9 million trust fund.
The CCCA’s main focus is to help the Environment Ministry’s National Climate Change Committee develop and coordinate its climate change policy in key areas such as agriculture, energy and coastal management.
“A high level of uncertainty remains, in particular on the indirect or potential cascading impacts of climate change in Cambodia and therefore the CCCA will provide… support to the [NCCC] to be better prepared for such impacts,” European Commission Charge D’Affairs Rafeal Dochao Moreno said at the launch.
The UNDP, EU, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Danish International Development Cooperation Agency funded the Alliance, and the $8.9 million trust fund will start with providing support for a government coastal management project.
Environment Minister Mok Mareth said the project was a “turning point in addressing climate change in Cambodia,” as it was “moving away from stand-alone project based approach” to a more complete approach to climate change in which multiple donors, NGOs and the government join under one umbrella to tackle climate change.
Mr Mareth went on to point to some of the challenges that changing climate poses to Cambodia. “We realize it will cause floods and droughts, like with Ketsana. We have already seen more frequent and severe storms,” he said.
Tin Ponlok, national coordinator for climate change policy, welcomed the project for its multi-donor approach and wide-ranging support. He added however, that out of the NCCC’s required $200 million National Adaptation Program of Action to address climate change, consisting of 39 projects, “less than $5 million” had so far been granted by international donors. “Real funding support from countries may take a while, or it may never happen,” Mr Ponlok said on the sidelines of the launch.
Mr Moreno, of the EC, said a $3.2 billion climate fund for developing countries in 2010 was likely to be approved by the EU, and which will eventually add to the EU’s current $3.2 million grant to the new alliance.
“It’s hoped there will be a much larger contribution for the CCCA by the end of this year,” he said.
DANIDA representative Tom Barthel Hansen touched upon the results of the climate change summit in Copenhagen in December, which is now widely viewed as a fiasco.
“Cop15 was not a failure…. The result there is that we have a platform. And we should move on to the climate change summit in Mexico [in November]. Let’s not sit back and be disappointed,” Mr Hansen urged.