In preparation for the season ahead, Cambodia concludes its 8th Monsoon Forum
Higher than average temperatures are predicted alongside lower than average rainfall for the upcoming dry season. Photo credit: UNDP Cambodia
Phnom Penh, November 2019 – Cambodia has held its 8th Monsoon Forum, the second such forum for the year. Facilitated by Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the event hosted more than fifty participants from government ministries at national and provincial level as well as from non-government organizations to discuss Cambodia’s position as a monsoon-prone country. It is a crucial event for a country in which agriculture accounts for almost a quarter of GDP.
Topics for discussion included recommendations from the 7th Monsoon Forum (held in June) and reviewing the 2019 southwest monsoon season including looking at sectoral experiences in agriculture. The forum also addressed the seasonal outlook for 2019-2020, proactively identifying risks and addressing them, with the aim of reducing negative impacts of climatic events while also enhancing positive outcomes.
An update on development of the Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems Standard Operating Procedures (MHEWS SOP) was also presented.
“I have never been to a Monsoon Forum before,” said Mr. Tek Samoeun, Vice Chief of the Office of Agricultural Cooperative Promotion in Kampong Speu. “From the forum I gained a lot of knowledge about what MOWRAM (the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology) does and how they extend it to people around the country.”
Participants of the 8th Monsoon Forum. Photo credit: UNDP Cambodia/Kelsea Clingeleffer
The Forum’s activities aligned with the objectives of the UNDP-supported project ‘Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Cambodia’ – funded by the Global Environment Facility-Least Developed Countries Fund – which supported the facilitation of the event.
In her opening statement, Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP Cambodia, Mrs. Sonali Dayaratne, said, “This Monsoon Forum is not a usual forum. It is built around the monsoon – a key climate driver in the country. After being ‘dormant’ since the last one in March 2016, the first of the planned two Monsoon Forums this year was held, finally in June 2016. This was conducted before the peak of monsoon season, usually from May to October. Today is the second of the year, right after the peak monsoon season in Cambodia.”
Completing two Monsoon Forums in the same year thus enabled exploration of the predicted and actual outcomes and impacts of the monsoon period.
Mr. Tek participating in the 8th Monsoon Forum. Photo credit: UNDP Cambodia/Kelsea Clingeleffer
With the Department of Meteorology predicting above average temperatures and below average rainfall for the upcoming dry season, it is important that all relevant stakeholders from national to community level are able to access and share information in a way that enables them to understand and plan for weather-related risks. This aligns with the Kingdom of Cambodia’s Law on Disaster Management, which emphasizes that proactive approaches should be utilized by identifying various hazards and strengthening public awareness.
“Under the project we have to share information. We need to share between government and non-government agencies…I think today’s forum will provide an opportunity to do that,” said His Excellency Mao Hak, Deputy Secretary General of Tonle Sap Authority.
For more information, please contact Muhibuddin Usamah (Project Manager) at firstname.lastname@example.org
See the ‘Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Cambodia’ Twitter feed here.
‘UNDP Cambodia announces partnership with global climate experts of RIMES, advancing forecasting for the future’, February 2019
'Integrating early warning into upcoming National Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction a priority for Cambodia', May 2019
‘Climate-ready: Monsoon Forums focus on elevating seasonal forecasting and preparedness in Cambodia’, June 2019