Sweden and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) co-signed a new contribution agreement for $3.34 million to extend a programme in support of the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance (CCCA).
A UNDP press release on April 23 said the CCCA-3 programme for the 2020-2022 period will provide crucial support for charting a growth path that is sustainable, resilient, and benefits the most vulnerable in society.
“The CCCA is a flagship climate change programme in Cambodia, implemented by the UNDP and the National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD).
“This programme has partnered with the Royal Government, NGOs, academia and the private sector to respond to climate change challenges in Cambodia since 2009, with continuous financial support from Sweden, the EU and the UNDP. The programme is now entering into its third phase (CCCA-3),” the press release said.
According to the UNDP, the CCCA grant programme provides opportunities for dozens of government institutions, NGOs, universities and private sector partners to test climate change adaptation and mitigation approaches, and leverage financing for successful initiatives.
Over these past 10 years, climate change action has become a central component of Cambodia’s development strategy. CCCA supported the integration of adaptation and mitigation targets in the National Strategic Development Plan, in budget policies, and in key sector programmes.
UNDP resident representative in Cambodia Nick Beresford said as the world faces the full onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to make sure our investments help create a cleaner, safer world for all citizens.
“We can use the opportunities available in times of crisis to enable government investment to increase climate resilience and promote environmentally-friendly and also private sector investment that think about the environment and resilience,” he said.
Sweden’s Ambassador to Cambodia Björn Häggmark, said in this third and new phase, the Swedish support – combined with a contribution of €6 million ($6.5 million) from the EU signed last year, and $500,000 from UNDP – will focus on deepening climate action in five key sectors.
Those key sectors are energy, public works and transport, rural development, environment and education, said Haggmark.
“Climate change is an existential threat and requires speedy, ambitious measures. The CCCA programme allows a wide range of key actors in Cambodia to do more to protect the environment, mitigate the effects of climate change and strengthen implementation of the Paris Agreement,” he said.
He said that CCCA-3 also includes a grant facility for innovative climate change adaptation and mitigation projects, technical assistance to the NCSD for the overall coordination of the climate change response, and research partnerships to strengthen the availability of data and knowledge on climate change in Cambodia.
Beresford said the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance programme has helped the government to move the climate crisis from a side issue to a central concern for the government as a whole.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance’s work with CCCA showed economic growth would be lower by up to 10 per cent by 2050 unless decisive action on adaptation is taken now.
“While preventive measures in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic have had an impact on our ability to travel to the field or hold meetings, we are able to make progress through online and remote working arrangements with our various partners.
“We keep providing policy support to the government. We are setting up research partnerships with academic institutions and working on the development of a new batch of innovation grants,” he said.