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Provincial drought vulnerability index map. National Council for Sustainable Development
Provincial drought vulnerability index map. National Council for Sustainable Development

Council lays out climate change blueprint

The National Council for Sustainable Development yesterday launched a first-of-its-kind effort to coordinate and monitor efforts to combat the effects of climate change across more than a dozen ministries dealing with the issue.

Cambodia’s national climate change monitoring and evaluation framework (M&E) aims to help in planning from the local to national level and provide the information necessary for the Kingdom to fulfill its treaty obligations under last year’s historic Paris climate pact.

Speaking at the launch, International Institute of Environment and Development senior researcher Neha Rai pointed to the importance of the M&E in not just determining effective policy but also helping Cambodia “bargain harder for climate finance”.

Under the Paris agreement, the Kingdom will be competing for a $100 billion annual funding pool set aside for developing countries’ climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Under the new M&E, the 14 ministries that have “sectoral” climate change plans would make use of indicators that measure both the problem and the effectiveness of policy solutions. For instance, the 2014 “vulnerability assessment” showed 49 per cent of the Kingdom’s communes are “highly” or “quite” vulnerable to climate change.

Measuring vulnerability to floods, drought and storms in different areas would ostensibly help various ministries tailor local policies adapted to those climate impacts, such as predicting crop yield, road damage or disease outbreak.

Sou Socheath, director of environmental education organisation Live&Learn, yesterday welcomed the M&E with cautious optimism. “Let’s see how it’s implemented,” he said.

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