Cambodian National Climate Change Forum

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani | published 25th Mar 2011 | last updated 30th Mar 2011

FIRST CAMBODIA NATIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE FORUM (NCCF) 19-21 OCTOBER, PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

This is a report of the forum by Chanthy Sam, SEI - Asia Email

The National Climate Change Forum was organized by the Cambodian Ministry of Environment (National Climate Change Committee) for three days from 19-21 October 2009 at InterContinental Hotel in Cambodia with the technical and financial assistance and support from United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), Oxfam America and Swedish International Development Agency (Sida). The forum invited more than 300 participants from government ministries, communities, NGOs/IOs, private sectors, Medias, and academia. The objective of this forum is raise awareness among government, development partners and civil society that climate change is not just an environmental, but also a development issue. The forum provides opportunity for local and regional experts, senior government officials, civil society organization representatives and development partners to discuss key issues such as mitigation and adaptation, looking at best practices in other countries, and exploring how best to introduce similar measures into Cambodia.

Summary from the Forum

1. Political Commitment The three-day forum has drawn outstanding political commitment from Royal Government of Cambodia toward the climate change as a global agenda. The Prime Minister Hun Sen presided and honorably gave his addressing speech over the launching of this first national climate change forum with more than 200 policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, academia, communities, NGOs/IOs, and the private sectors. Within this government, the premier confirmed that Cambodia was not the polluter, but rather than a victim. The poor countries like Cambodia have been affected by the carbon emissions from big industrial countries. Still Cambodia has committed to its high responsibility to reverse climate change in joining with the world.

'Please do not insult the small countries; they were not responsible for this. Cambodia did not make it but still has the obligation, as do other small nations, to join in and help resolve this issue. Climate change affects all countries in the world'  Prime Minister Hun Sen.

2. Sharing the experiences The forum has pooled many national, regional and global experts and resource persons from corners of the region to come and share what is happening right now and the next coming years. All of them confirmed that climate change was a real phenomenon and IPCCC warned the globe to be strategically careful in dealing with climate change. The worse prediction would be the increase to 2oC which could result in vast and dramatic damages especially the economy and human welfare. The sessions and panels at this forum also discussed renewable energy development in Cambodia, the need for low-carbon society, adapting current resources and changes, financing for mitigation and adaptation, and climate change in other perspectives such as ecosystem management, CDM, and gender.

3. Collaboration, Networking and Partnership The forum also promoted the dialogues among those climate change participants, attempting to share and learn from everyone’s experiences and knowledge for both mitigation and adaptation. Interestingly, the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform was also given a room to share its goal, missions, and strategic mechanism to enhance knowledge and information to serve the users especially local communities and policy-makers. Serena Fortuna from UNEP gave a very informative presentation with high interests from the participants. Overall, the forum gathered experienced practitioners and policy-makers, providing more rooms to network, and building relationships and enhancing the partnership among those climate people.

4. Ways forward The forum also proposed how Cambodia could move forward in helping mitigate and adapt to the changes in climate. The Phnom Penh Forum came as part of the leap-up to December’s CoP15 of UNFCCC. Cambodia already drafted its well-informed position to voice out for the upcoming event in Copenhagen in this December and also to present the world of its plans for changes with other nations. There have been and will be policy reforms such as lowering the taxes on the imported equipments which can be used in the renewable energy sectors. With strong desire, but less resource, Cambodia is still on the way to zero emission path and this CO2-least emitting country needs more supports from regional and global partners to financially and technically assist in achieving parts of the global targets.

Presentations during the forum

1. Introduction: Climate Change Science, Impacts, Opportunities and the UNFCCC by Mozaharul Alam, Regional Climate Change Coordinator, UNEP.

2. Global Perspectives on Climate Change (World Development Report 2010) by Ian Noble, World Bank.

3. The Economics of Climate Change in Southeast Asia: A Regional Review by Juzhong Zhuang, Assistant Chief Economist, Economics and Research Department, Asian Development Bank.

4. Carbon Markets: Kyoto Protocol, CDM and Voluntary Markets by Bridget Mclntosh, Managing Director, Carbon Bridge Pte Ltd.

5. Prospects and Challenges in REDD Implementation: Vietnam’s experience towards REDD readiness and country initiatives by Dr. Pham Manh Cuong, Department of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

6. Current Status of Renewable Energy Development in Cambodia by Touch Sovanna, Director of Department of Energy Techniques, MIME.

7. GHG Mitigation by Low-Cost Technology by Yohanes Iwan Baskoro, Country Director, Groupe Energies Renouvelables, Environnement et Solidarités.

8. Climate Projection and Impacts, and Vulnerability and Adaptation (V&A) in Agriculture Sector by Rizaldi Boer and Heng Chanthoeun, Agus Buono, Adi Rakhman, Second National Communication Under the UNFCCC.

9. Climate Change and Human Health: Risks and Responses: Vulnerability and Adaptation by A.J. McMichael, WHO Consultant, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australia National University, Canberra, Australia.

10. Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation in Fisheries Sector by Dr. Eward H Allison, The WorldFish Centre, Penang, Malaysia.

11. Financing for Climate Change in Developing Countries by Bert Maerten, Oxfam.

12. Toward the Low-Carbon Society by Masakazu Ichimura, Chief, Environment and Development Policy Section, UNESCAP.

13. Climate Policy in the EU and Germany Development Renewable Energies by Dr. George Maue, Senior Expert for Climate Change and Energy Policy, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Strategy.

14. Development Process of the National Strategic Development Plan -An Update (2009-2013) by Poch Sovanndy, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Planning.

15. Ensuring a Coordinated Response to Climate Change: Identifying relevant aid effectiveness principles by H.E. Chhieng Yanara, Secretary General, Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board, Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

16. Climate Change and Biodiversity by Rober Mather, IUCN.

17. Climate Change, Gender and Poverty by Brian Lund, Oxfam America.

18. Regional Climate Change Adaptation Knowledge Platform for Asia by Serena Fortuna, UNEP

 

Please contact Chanthy Sam, SEI-Asia for a copy of any of the presentations.