Phnom Penh, Cambodia –  March 21, 2018: Climate resilience projects in Cambodia prioritized for action

New initiatives to build resilience to climate change in Cambodia are edging closer to implementation following a national workshop in Phnom Penh this March.

The workshop served to review the results of six feasibility studies for projects focusing on climate resilience in Cambodia, and to identify projects most likely to receive financing from climate funds. The feasibility studies are outputs of the five-year project TA8179 – Mainstreaming Climate Change into Development Planning in Cambodia that aims to achieve sustained institutional and technical capacity to integrate adaptation concerns into development planning.

Attended by national and provincial government officials from Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR) ministries, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the project team, the workshop provided an opportunity to present and review feasibility studies of climate resilience projects in six provinces. The projects cover several sectors, including agriculture, transport, rural and urban development and water management. The projects were prepared over a two-year period in close collaboration with central and provincial staff of related ministries. Both project designs and the feasibility studies received positive feedback from participants.

Participants at the workshop

In order to identify the most effective projects for improved climate resilience, and thus those most likely to attract funding, a prioritization process consisting of eight criteria was developed as part of the TA and applied at the workshop. The criteria include, among others, project area vulnerability to climate hazards, expected number of beneficiaries, social and environmental net benefits, and interest from potential implementing partners. Government officials were divided into six cross-sector groups to apply the criteria to projects, with the help of guidance materials and feasibility study reports.

As a result, the ‘Battambang Western Greenbelt Adaptation Project’ (Battambang  municipality),  the  ‘Climate-Smart  Infrastructure  and  Agriculture  Project’  (Tboung Khmum province) and the Livelihood Resilience Improvement Project (Kampong Chhnang province) were identified as the three top ranked projects. The first project supports the establishment of a multi-purpose green infrastructure system along Kampong Siema canal in Battambang municipality. The second project aims to improve rural roads, upgrade community irrigation systems, and facilitate the adoption of appropriate crops and cropping systems in Tboung Khmum province. The third project seeks to improve livelihood resilience of the community living in Kampong Leng district by strengthening the agricultural value chain.

A breakout group discussing project prioritization criteria

The project team will now hold discussions with leading ministries and potential implementing partners for each project to apply the two remaining criteria (commitment of executing agency to support proposal development, and interest from an agency accredited to the targeted climate fund). In consultation with ADB and the Project Management Unit, the selection of two projects for proposal development will be finalized for proposal development. The team will  then seek  to prepare  two  full  proposals  for  submission  to  selected  climate  fund(s),  whilst simultaneously exploring the potential for remaining projects to be taken up by other development partners.

The Mainstreaming Climate Change into Development Planning in Cambodia project is expected to conclude in 2019.