Climate Change Resilience workshops

In November 2015, CRDT has conducted Vulnerability Reduction Assessments (VRA) in three communes: Koh Preah, Sre Krasang and O’mreah, located in Stung Treng province. These communes count 1 798 families, so a population of 7,475 persons, 3548 of which are women.

The VRAs illustrated that the top natural hazard in the three target communes is drought. The communities reported that drought has five main consequences: low crop yield, loss of income and capital, human diseases, death of animals, and lack of water for rice and agricultural production. The lack of water during dry season limits community’s vegetable growing. Besides, many livestock died due to the heat.

Because of the food shortage, a lot of people decided to migrate to find work in other places, to get involved in illegal activities in the forest or to take out a loan.

Based on these information, CRDT decided to organize awareness-raising workshops to build the capacity of 900 community members to understand climate change consequences.

More importantly, the project will create a platform for Councils and communities to conduct bi-annual meetings where climate change issues will be explained. Complementing this, the project will build the ability of 5 Commune Councils to conduct five other VRAs in villages in their communes. Empowering the Councils to conduct VRA themselves will support their understanding of local climate change impacts and provide ownership over actions to adapt to changes. CRDT will then facilitate a meeting between Commune Council members and village chiefs to discuss how the climate change consequences can be best integrated into 2017 Commune Investment Plans.

In response to these problems, the overall purpose of this project is to promote climate change resilience among smallholder farmer communities along the Mekong River to improve water management and resilient agriculture, and to mainstream climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction into commune development plan to reduce vulnerability of communities.

In fact, in October 2016, three awareness workshop have been implemented in three villages: Sre Krosang, Tbong Kla and O’ Mreah. 414 participants (196 women) joined the workshops. They have been organized at night-time in the pagoda of the villages. The objectives of these workshops are to raise awareness about Climate Change among the public and to explain the adaptation and disaster risk management through video, presentation and discussion.

The participants have been asked to name at least three climate change signal and the consequences on their lives, and to try to find an explanation. After presentation, a video has been projected divided into three sessions:

  • The meaning and cause of climate change,
  • The impact of climate change
  • The mitigation and adaptation options for community members.

Video are easier to understand for the community members than long speeches, and the assembly looked very interested. After the workshop, the authorities and community members expressed their satisfaction and interest about what they learnt during the workshop. The survey realized at the end of the workshop showed that 82% of participants have a better understanding of the concept of climate change and how to adapt to it.

Kheng Bunheng

STG Project Manager

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