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SCALA Cambodia

SCALA Cambodia


The Kingdom of Cambodia is situated in mainland Southeast Asia with a population of over 14 million people, and with approximately 80 percent of this population living in rural areas. In Cambodia – which is ranked the 12th most vulnerable country in the world to climate change by the Global Climate Risk Index 2020 – increases in the frequency of floods, droughts, and windstorms in recent years cost 10 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015 from loss and damages. The agriculture sector makes up a third of GDP and employs 57 percent of the country’s labor force. Approximately 80 percent of the country’s population lives along the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake, where flooding occurs due to increased water levels between early July and early October. Disruptions to logistical corridors caused by floods have a profound impact on agricultural supply chains, both domestically and for international trade. At the same time, 39 percent of the country's total GHG emissions come from the agriculture and land use sectors. 

Country Climate Plans

Cambodia initiated its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Financing Framework and Implementation Plan in 2017. Cambodia’s developing agri-business environment also needs assistance for enhancing sustainability, and the Cambodia Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture (CPSA) is paving the path for the sector, for targeted interventions in its value chains, such as rice, sugar cane, and cassava. Cambodia submitted its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC in December 2020, which outlined adaptation and mitigation goals in the agriculture and land use sectors. The NDC has 17 prioritized adaptation actions under agriculture, focusing on agribusiness, the development of rice and other cash crops, horticulture, livestock aquaculture production. The NDC adaptation component outlined the need for agriculture support services, capacity building, enhanced institutional arrangements, the development of new technologies and increased research. Cambodia prioritized mitigation actions under the forestry and other land use (FOLU) sectors intending to reduce 50 percent of emissions by 2030 via the REDD+ programme. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and other relevant ministries will also undertake a bio-digester programme as part of the mitigation actions outlined in the updated NDC.


A key barrier for climate actions in Cambodia is limited resources: human, technical and financial resources, which could be enhanced with support from development partners and private sector financing.  There is also a need to enhance capacity and technical skills in data and information collection and management, particularly for Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV). In Cambodia, some of the other barriers include limited staff capacity at the sub-national levels for the implementation of adaptation and mitigation actions, as well as coordination with line ministries and other stakeholders (civil society, community-based organizations, NGOs, and the private sector) to ensure that efforts and resources are concerted, and synergies are leveraged.

Project details

In Cambodia, SCALA focuses on the forestry sector in the context of the REDD+ initiative, with inclusion of the livestock sector. Since its inception, the programme has supported the Ministry of Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) in preparing the second year NDC progress report.

Collaborating with the Global Environment Facility’s ”Capacity-Building Initiative for Transparency” (CBIT) project, SCALA has provided technical and financial assistance for the design of national monitoring and evaluation (M&E). This system is intended to track NDC and adaptation actions, and the management information system (MIS) was handed over to the Ministry of Environment’s General Directorate of Natural Protected Areas (GDNPA) in August 2023.

SCALA also contributed to the development of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Climate Change Priority Action Plan 2023–2030 (CCPAP), which was endorsed by a national validation workshop in December 2023. An indicator framework for the CCPAP is currently being developed.

Finally, the programme is initiating a feasibility study for the introduction of carbon offsets as a sustainable forest management measure for communities in the province of Stun Treng.

Moving ahead, SCALA in Cambodia aims to:

  • Complete a systems-level assessment on climate mitigation and adaptation in the livestock sector and on sustainable forest management.
  • Contribute to the development of roadmaps for the enhancement of national M&E and MRV systems.
  • Conduct a participatory mapping of the private sector actors in the value chains of the key commodities driving deforestation.
  • Identify policy and financial de-risking measures and business opportunities for private sector engagement in climate action within the forestry and livestock value chains – this involves considering the social, financial, and environmental impacts of these supply chains and the opportunities to strengthen the partnership for sustainable development, while promoting the sharing of knowledge, technology, and resources.
Natural Resource Management, Agriculture/Food Security
Level of intervention
  • National
  • Regional
  • Global
Key collaborators
  • Country Office
  • National Governments
Implementing agencies and partnering organizations
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Project status
Under Implementation

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