Promoting Climate Resilient Water Management and Agricultural Practices in Rural Cambodia

Project summary

Photo: UNDP Cambodia

The aim of the project is to make Cambodia’s agricultural sector less vulnerable to changes in the availability of water resources resulting from climate change. It will also contribute to the broader goal of enhancing adaptive capacity to prevent food insecurity in Cambodia induced by climate change. The project will work to increase awareness of climate change, demonstrate climate resilient practices in agriculture and water resource management and integrate responses into provincial, district and commune development plans. The project is the first designed to respond to the priorities identified in Cambodia’s National Adaptation Programme of Action to Climate Change (NAPA).

Key expected results

  • 16 communes get supports on development planning with climate change adaptation. Some priorities have been addressed through the project’s fund. Preah Vihear and Kratie provinces also integrate and implement adaptation responses including awareness raising, irrigation rehabilitation, and farmer community formation in their development plans.    
  • Two medium-scaled irrigation systems have been rehabilitated in the two target communes. They could increase hectarage of irrigated land during the dry season from 355 hectares to 733 hectares. More than 2,000 households also get water for their rice farming, home gardening and animal raising.
  • Around 1,500 households benefit from the project’s pump wells, community ponds, rain water harvesting containers and solar and wind powered pumps.
  • A mediate mechanism was set up and introduced to water user groups for conflict resolutions.
  • Community-based early system was set up to provide reliable climatic information to farmers through local volunteers who receive notices from meteorological authorities.
  • More than 3,600 families have adopted adaptive measures such as rice varieties, water harvesting, seed purification, dripping system, integrated farming system, SRI, and early warning information in their livelihood activities.
  • Around 11,000 families get knowledge on climate change and adaptation through the project’s on-going awareness raising campaigns.
  • Some of the project lessons learnt and best practices are being replicated in other institutions’ initiatives such as those of IFAD, UNDP, UNCDF, Ministries of Agriculture, Women’s Affairs, Environment, Cambodian Red Cross, and local NGOs.

Contributing donors

Contributing donors Amount
UNDP US$ 1,240,350
Global Environmental Facility US$ 1,850,000
Parallel funding: Royal Government of Cambodia US$ 180,000

Project delivery

As of June 2013, the project accumulative delivery is US$ 2,921,205.

Project background

Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which Cambodia joined in 2002, Least Developed Countries such as Cambodia are encouraged to develop NAPAs. Support for developing these NAPAs is provided through the Global Environment Facility, a multi-donor facility. Cambodia’s National Adaptation Programme of Action to Climate Change (NAPA) was endorsed by the Government in 2006. Cambodia’s NAPA identifies priority interventions, designed to address the urgent needs for adaptation in key sectors, primarily agriculture, water resources, the coastal zone and human health.

The NAPA outlines 39 “no regrets” adaptation projects, 20 of which focus on issues of water resources and agriculture. The projects were identified on the basis of gap and policy analysis, a field survey, consultations, expert reviews and an inter-ministerial review. They are aligned with Cambodia’s development objectives, which are outlined in the Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency (2004) and the National Strategic Development Plan (2006-2010).Promoting Climate Resilient Water Management and Agricultural Practices in Rural Cambodia is one of them. It is the first project to systematically address gaps in institutional and individual capacity in affected rural communities to manage agricultural water resources in a changing climate. It is also demonstrating resilient irrigation, freshwater management and farming options. As Cambodia has been undertaking a concerted effort of decentralization, these efforts are focusing primarily on provincial, district and communal planning systems. These include Commune Planning and Budgeting Committees, Commune Councils and Farmer Water User Committees.

The project is working in two contrasting agricultural districts, which were selected for their high vulnerability as well as for differences in agro-ecological and socio-economic circumstances. It is being implemented in partnership with the Rural Livelihoods Improvement Project, which is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and UNDP. Lessons learned will be replicated in other high-risk areas in Cambodia, and made accessible to other countries in the region.

Main activities

  • Pilot the integration of climate change responses into commune and provincial development plans in the two target districts in Kratie Province and Preah Vihear Province.
  • Develop and pilot technologies that improve access to water for household use and agriculture in a changing climate.
  • Develop and pilot farming methods that are suited to changing climates in the two target areas.
  • Bridge the gap between gender, agriculture and climate change at province, district and commune levels.
  • Promote public awareness of climate change and adaptation in relation to water resources management and agricultural practices.
  • Document case studies, best practices and lessons learned and share them through the UNDP Adaptation Learning Mechanism This web-based global knowledge-sharing platform designed to capture and disseminate adaptation experiences.

Project overview
Project number
Total budget
US$ 3,090,350
Project starting date
September 2009
Estimated ending date
November 2013
Choam Khsan District (Preah Vihear Province) and Chit Borei District (Kratie Province)
Focus area
Environment and Energy
Millennium Development Goal
Cambodia MDG7: Ensure environmental sustainability
UNDP Country Programme
Outcome 2: By 2015, National and local authorities, communities and private sector are better able to sustainably manage ecosystems goods and services and respond to climate change
Output 2.3: A national strategy, programme, and financing mechanism established for cohesive climate change response at national, sub-national, and community levels.
Project officer

UNDP focal point

Ms. Kalyan KEO, Programme Analyst

UNDP, No. 53, Street 51, Phnom Penh

Tel: + 855 (0) 23 216 167



Implementing partners

National Project Manager

Mr Kimthourn HOK

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Project Support Unit (MAFF PSU)

No. 200, Preah Norodom Blvd, Sangkat Tonle Bassac

Chamkarmon, Phnom Penh

Tel: +855 (0) 23 993 342

NAPA Project Annual Reports
Latest project video
Video about results of NAPA Follow-Up project