FAO in Cambodia

Press Release: Coastal fishing communities to benefits from a GEF’s project to improve livelihood and marine ecosystem


On 22 January 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) along with the Ministry of Environment, which is the Global Environmental Facility (GEF)’s Focal Point Ministry, co-singed a five-year project agreement on "Climate Adaptation and Resilience in Cambodia’s Coastal Fishery Dependent Communities”, known in short as “CamAdapt”. It aims at supporting coastal fisheries-dependent communities to adapt to climate change.

Funded by the GEF’s Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF), the project will help coastal fishing communities and protected areas in the Cambodia’s main four coastal provinces – Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk to improve their livelihoods by increasing their adaptive capacity to climate change, while improving the marine ecosystem and biodiversity.  

At the signing ceremony, Mr Alexandre Huynh, FAO Representative in Cambodia, stressed that, “this shows another successful partnership between MAFF, MOE and FAO. After the signing, we will move ahead together to implement field activities to support the coastal fisheries-dependent communities to improve their production, income, using appropriate adaptation measures, while preserving the fish resource base, ecosystem, and biodiversity for the generations to come.”

Cambodia’s coastal fishing communities are amongst the most vulnerable, due largely to high dependence on natural resources, direct exposure to storms, sea level rise, and changing rainfall, household poverty, remoteness and marginalization. Women have even less adaptive options available to them, as traditionally, they have less influence over the decision-making processes, including those related to climate adaptation. 

There are many challenges threatening livelihood of these communities, including a decline of fisheries resources, sea water intrusion, lack of freshwater (particularly in the islands) for domestic and agricultural use. Moreover, the increasing frequent recurrence of damaging storms leads to destruction of coastal ecosystems and coastal infrastructure.

H.E. Dr Hean Vanhan, Secretary of State of MAFF highlighted that, “it needs urgent actions and this project will therefore build on a baseline of existing policies, legal and technical measures and investments, and provide additional financing to generate effective adaptation models and establish support frameworks that address vulnerability facing Community Fisheries and Community Protected Areas.”

As a National GEF Operations Focal Point, H.E. Tin Ponlok, Secretary of State of MoE, emphasized a strong collaboration between MoE, partner ministries and development partners to address the degraded ecosystem services and restore the biodiversity, while commending an effective partnership among the three institutions – MAFF, MoE and FAO on resource mobilization, which helps translate commitment into actions and to successfully implement this project for the benefits of vulnerable people in the coastal areas.

The Fisheries Administration (FiA/MAFF), General Directorate of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection (GDANCP/MoE) and FAO are jointly implementing this project, focusing on four interlinked components. They include strengthening policy coordination and capacity development for an adaptive enabling environment, promoting coastal resilience through sustainable ecosystem management, strengthening adaptive capacities of the fishing communities to climate change, and improving knowledge management and sharing mechanisms.



Media Contacts:

Mr Thay Somony, Director of Aquaculture Development Department, FiA/MAFF

Tel: 012 829 971; Email: [email protected]

Mr Kong Kimsreng,  Director, Southern Tonlesap Terrestrial Protected Area Conservation GDANCP/MoE

Tel: 012 8888 47; Email: [email protected]

Ms Tet Chann, Communication Officer, FAO Cambodia

Tel: 011 276 775; Email: [email protected]