Sowing Climate-Resilient Seeds: Implementing Climate Change Adaptation Best Practices in Rural Cambodia - D’Agostino & Sovacool, March 2011

Abstract: Multilateral support through programs like the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) targets countries widely considered to be the most vulnerable to climate change. Cambodia is one of the six Asian LDCF recipients and with UNDP support is implementing the first adaptation project to arise from its National Adaptation Program of Action. Drawing on primary research conducted in August 2010 through interviews with key stakeholders, this article investigates the project for the likely benefits and challenges it will face in promoting institutional, infrastructural, and community resilience to climate change impacts. We find that the countrys ongoing decentralization reforms offer an effective opportunity to mainstream climate change planning into sub-national government operations, but that competing priorities for immediate investment in education, roads, and healthcare may prevent government officers from sustaining a focus on preventative adaptation measures. We conclude that through careful planning, water resources infrastructure and agricultural practices can be designed to withstand climate variability and avoid the need to replace or rehabilitate systems whose specifications were prematurely determined by international donors.

A. L. D’Agostino: B. K. Sovacool
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, 469C Bukit Timah Road,
Singapore 259772, Singapore