Department of Rural Engineering (GRU) organized the Dissemination Workshop on Climate Change and Wat

Department of Rural Engineering, Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), organized the “Dissemination Workshop on Climate Change and Water Governance in Cambodia” at ITC, Phnom Penh, on 26 March 2016. The main objective of this workshop is to disseminate research findings from the IDRC funded project “Climate Change and Water Governance in Cambodia” to university students. The Climate Change and Water Governance in Cambodia project (CCAWG) was funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and is being completed by CDRI in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM), Ministry of Environment (MoE), Tonle Sap Authority (TSA), Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), and Mekong Programme on Water, Environment and Resilience (M-POWER).

There were in total 316 people, from 19 different organizations, attending the workshop (see table below).

The workshop was divided into three main sessions: opening and introduction session, plenary session, and main session. In the opening and introduction session, Dr. Chunhieng Thavarith, Deputy Director General of ITC, opened the workshop. He remarked that the workshop is relevant to Cambodian society which is confirmed affected by climate change. Students and all participants are expected to get knowledge on impacts of climate change on people’s livelihoods in rural areas of Cambodia and adaptation practices. After the opening remark, Dr. Chem Phalla, Acting Research Director of Cambodia Development Resources Institute (CDRI), gave a brief introduction to the project: Climate Change and Water Governance in Cambodia funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

There were two presentations in the plenary session. The first one was provided Dr. Heng Chanthoeun, Deputy Director of Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment. He talked about “Historical Climate Trends and Climate Change Projections for Cambodia”. His analysis showed that the change in annual rainfall in Cambodia is 0.03-0.11% under the emission scenario: RCP 4.5 and 0.02-012% under the emission scenario: RCP 8.5. The second presentation was given by Dr. Oeurng Chantha, Deputy Head of Department of Rural Engineering and Senior Researcher of ITC. The title of his presentation is “Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change: Examples from Two Rural Affected Communities due to Floods and Drought.”

During the main session, there were four presentations. First of all, Mrs. Sam Sreymom, Acting Unit Head of CDRI, presented about “Governance for Water Security and Climate Resilience in the Tonle Sap Basin.” To reach a resilient water governance, she raised five key elements: (1) Architecture: building technical, administrative and managerial capacity & cooperation, (2) Agency: acknowledging roles of various actors and enhancing their interactions, (3) Addictiveness: building local capacity in coping with climate change and promoting D&D, (4) Accountability: promoting two-way dialogue between institutional stakeholders and credible M&E, and (5) Access & Allocation: improving access and its challenges. Then Mr. Tes Sopharith, Senior Researcher of M-Power, presented about “Assessment of Water Resources for Improved Water Governance under Climate Change-Stung Chinit Catchment.” He found that, in the study area, climate change leads to a lower dry season flow in November-May and March-July. Such impacts result in scarcity of water for irrigation, meaning that rice production is negatively affected. Thirdly, Mr. Nong Monin, Researcher of CDRI, presented about “Climate Change Vulnerability in Three Tonle Sap Catchments-a participatory assessment.” He found that the three study areas: Stung Chinit in Kampong Thom Province, Stung Chrey Bak in Kampong Cham Province and Stung Pursat in Pursat Province are vulnerable to climate change in form of flood and drought. The study suggests to improve the physical assets focusing hard infrastructure and technological innovations, and to strengthen knowledge of modern crop varieties more resilience to drought and flood in simple and applicable strategies, etc. Lastly, Dr. Oeurng Chantha presented about “Assessment of Water Resources for Improved Water Governance under Climate Change-Stung Chrey Bak Catchment.”

There was an active discussion (questions and answers) after each presentation. It is concluded that participants get a better understanding of the implications of hydrological and ecosystem changes caused by climate change and human changes on livelihoods in the Tonle Sap Basin as well as knowledge on methods to integrate these research findings into Cambodia’s policy and planning frameworks.

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