Climate change is seriously impacting Cambodia, says ministry

Cambodia has registered a staggering 6,920 different forms of natural disasters since 1996, the Ministry of Environment revealed.

Speaking during a press conference entitled “Climate change and its impact on Cambodia” at the Office of the Council of Ministers yesterday, ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said not only do the figures evidence the impact of climate change in the Kingdom, but also the risk global warming poses to its future.

“Between 1996 and 2020, Cambodia witnessed 3,681 floods, 1,375 droughts and 1,917 hurricanes, all of which killed 1,292 people and destroyed 14,761 houses, 1,875 hospitals, three million hectares of crops damaged and around 1,000 schools,” he said.

“We cannot begin to determine the amount of money and grief this has cost the country over the years. However, to give some idea, in 2013, floods alone led to Cambodia losing $350 million. Around 300,000ha of farmland and 200,000 homes were damaged, with 150 fatalities.

In response, Pheaktra said the government has quadrupled the budget for climate change to around $900 million, spread across 14 ministries and institutions working together under the Climate Change Adaptation Project, which is set to run until 2030.

Department of Climate Change director Hak Mao said climate change is caused by both natural and human factors.

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Khann Chanvirak