Cambodia is one of the first countries to pilot the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) mechanism. The Local Governments and Climate Change (LGCC) were designed to support the capacity of the Local Government to implement Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) to increase the resilience at the local level. Phase I and Phase II of the project, with support from the EU, Cambodia Climate Change Alliance Trust Fund (CCCA-TF) and SIDA, resulted in the LGCC’s demonstration that the Performance-Based Grant Mechanism (PBCRG) has increased the government capacity to produce the local infrastructure, which contributed to the increase of the resilence of their commuity to the climate change effects in their area.
With 5 years of experience in implementing the programme, LGCC has enhanced the mechanism and improved the capacity of the local government, at the same time it also influenced the policy in mainstreaming CCA into the local government planning and also the role of local government in implementing the CCA. The new guideline of the local government planning was approved in the beginning of the year, where the climate change intervention will be a part of the normal development planning.
Currently, LoCAL/LGCC is entering Phase III of its implementation, where the national government will access the resources (climate finance) directly and channel it to their local government. At this phase, the sustainability of the programme will start, where the mechanism, introduced to the project, will be adopted and implemented by the government to scale up the programme to all local governments, especially the ones that are most vulnerable to climate change.
The National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development Secretariat (NCDDS), as the implementing partner of the programme, has been nominated by the Cambodian Government to be the first National Implementing Entities (NIE) for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to apply for the GCF direct access to scale up the LGCC programme to more local governments. NCDD has been registerd as the candiate NIE and the draft proposal for the GCF Enhance Direct Access has been developed.
A workshop to facilitate a wide consultation of the proposal has been conducted at NCDD Secretariat, with 40 participants from the Department of Climate Change, the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance (CCCA), the Ministry of Environment (MoE), the Ministry of Economic and Finance (MEF), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Swedish Development Assistance (SIDA), the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Battambang Administration, the Takeo Administration, the National Committee for Local Councilor and the NCDD Secretariat teams. H.E. Ngan Chamroeun, Deputy Executive Head of NCDDS, chaired the meeting.
The meeting was preceded by three key presentations in order to make all participants aware of progress and achievements-to-date and, also, to collect comments and feedback about the LGCC II project, draft proposal of GCF and the draft bridging phase of LGCC III.
Mr. Sum Thy, Director of the Climate Change Department at MoE said that MoE wants to see Cambodia Climate Change Strategy Plan (CCCSP) activities extended to the subnational level. They are already cooperating with NCDD-S on the UNDP - Green Environment Fund Resilient Livelihoods project, which will start implementation soon, and have LGA participation. He added that the MoE is so happy to see that NCDDS and the LGCC phase III is aligned with the MoE’s strategies.
MEF representative mentioned the difficulties and delays experienced in amending subnational budgets once they are approved. It will be better if grant allocations can be decided in time for them to be included in the “budget book.”
H.E. Chamroeun said procedures for conditional cash transfers are a key issue for NCDD-S, particularly in view of the upcoming scale-up of functional transfer for primary education. LGCC has led the way in piloting this kind of transfer. Finally, H.E concluded the meeting by appreciating the active participation of development partners. MoE, MEF and the National League and project team, especially the support from SIDA. He added that the draft proposal of the bridging phase will be shared to all DPs by project team tomorrow for their consideration.