Community-based actions and solutions to cope with climate change and disasters are gaining traction, particularly in vulnerable countries like Cambodia and its neighboring Southeast Asian countries. Climate-related disasters, such as prolonged droughts, flooding, and much stronger typhoons and hurricanes, have taken a toll on developing countries through loss of human lives and livelihoods as well as damage to critical infrastructure.

Over the course of the past two days, experts and practitioners on community-based climate change adaptation and disaster risk management gathered in Siem Reap, Cambodia for a regional conference on community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM). The event was held in the Apsara Palace Resort and Conference Center and was attended by roughly 150 participants, including a wide range of stakeholders from participating governments, community representatives, NGOs, academia, private sector, and development partners in Cambodia and Mekong region.

The conference aimed to create a forum to share experiences in implementing and supporting CBDRM. Presenters discussed good practices and strategies for strengthening community-based disaster preparedness and responses, innovative ways of building capacities of local communities to reduce risks of natural disasters, and novel approaches for sustainable management of community-based disaster risks. Cambodia Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) work on CBDRM was also presented.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology hosted the event, in collaboration with the National Council for Sustainable Development and Ministry of Environment. The Government of Cambodia, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, organized the conference with support from the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIF) Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (CIF/PPCR).

His Excellency Professor Dr. Sabo Ojano, Secretary of State, Ministry of Environment delivered his opening remarks during the conference. He emphasized "sharing information to increase capacity, timely delivery of information about droughts, floods and storms to all stakeholders is an important requirement to reduce the loss of the national economy and support the lives of the people of Cambodia as well as those globally."

A government delegation from Zambia, another pilot country under the PPCR, also participated in the workshop in order to learn about effective approaches to CBDRM. Their participation was a crucial part of the knowledge exchange activities between Cambodia and Zambia, organized through support from the CIF/PPCR.

CBDRM and climate change-related materials, such as reports, training materials, case studies, and guides, were also displayed and extensively utilized during the conference.

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About the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)

Established in 2008 as one of the largest fast-tracked climate financing instruments in the world, the US $8.3-billion CIF provides developing countries with grants, concessional loans, risk mitigation instruments, and equity that leverage significant financing from the private sector Multi Development Banks (MDBs) and other sources. Five MDBs – the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and World Bank Group (WBG) – implement CIF-funded projects and programs.