Local communities in Cambodia are trialing an innovative approach to climate adaptation through an emerging ‘Citizens Climate Network’ (CCN) in Pursat and Prey Veng provinces.
Over an initial six-month period, the project aims to:
While Cambodia already has a national strategy on climate, local communities have not been involved in setting indicators of success. The CCN aims to bridge this gap through a consultative approach to identify and carry out practical actions for adaptation.
East Meets West, an international NGO program that is part of the US-based Thrive Network, facilitates the CCN. The project aims to transfer climate knowledge to local residents, promote sharing of ideas, and support practical adaptation are that are proposed and co-designed with local communities themselves.
To achieve these aims, the network trains local facilitators, who may be village heads or other community leaders, to organize monthly activities with groups of 50 to 70 people at a time. The network engages 34 villages in Pursat province and 17 in Prey Veng, and has seven local facilitators in total.
So far, the network has conducted activities for drought response, disaster preparedness, home vegetable gardening, and hygiene for health. One recent event brought communities together to plant trees at schools, pagodas, and public roads. Another focused on preparing emergency kits in readiness for a disaster situation.
The project is conducted as participatory action research. The organizers call their approach 'co-designed localism' that collaborates with local communities and draws inspiration from the surrounding physical, social and cultural environment.
Since the project began in early 2022, the organizers have observed increasing confidence and willingness of the participants, especially women, to share ideas about climate change and adaptation with each other and in their villages.
The organizers have distilled some lessons about promoting community-based adaptation, which they presented at the Mekong Connections Learning Forum in Thailand on 23-24 August. They noted that:
The CCN currently receives a civil society grant through Pact Thailand’s Mekong Connections program. The organizers hope that the project can be replicated in partnership with others in the Mekong region once the pilot phase is over.
For more information about the Citizens Climate Network and to discuss opportunities for collaboration, contact Dr Lien Pham.
Catch a glimpse of project activities here.
© 2022 Mekong SIP. All Rights Reserved.Web Design by Sphere Digital Marketing Agency.