Training on climate risk and emergency management system for Ministry of Rural Development, Cambodia

A four days training provided to the participants from different Ministry in Cambodia on climate risk and emergency management system from 19 April 2017. The training is intended as an introduction to climate risk and emergency management system. It aims to build human and institutional capacities to manage risks associated with climate variability, change, and extremes focusing on road transportation. It specifically aims to:

  • Climate context on Cambodia and its impacts on rural road infrastructures
  • Outline the climate risk management (CRM) and Emergency Management System (EMS) framework and its significance against the backdrop of a changing climate;
  • Support in the identification of ways to improve resilience of individuals and communities in dealing with climate change and community based disaster risk management;
  • Discuss on emergency response system and its implications.

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Climate change adaptation activities for Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) potentially new area to explore, thus this training manuals try to cover some basics of climate change and but mostly focused on the applications and risk management aspects of it. Although experiences of developed countries are cited, the sessions focus on what climate risk and emergency response system means for Cambodian context and how to go about building resilience. Upon completion of this training, participants should be able to apply their competencies in advancing their respective institutions’ ongoing or planned CRM and EMS initiatives through greater understanding of the:

  • Interpretation of weather and climate forecast products and climate change scenarios issued by national meteorological agencies and global forecasting centers
  • Climate impacts on rural infrastructures and National emergency management system of NCDM
  • Application of risk management processes to identify, assess and deal with climate-related risks
  • Use of participatory community-based decision-making principles in climate risk management

The following themes were covered throughout the training:

  • Linking climate science to institutions and society. Raw climate information does not automatically render societal benefits. There is always the challenge of creating ‘usable’ climate information, of increasing forecast generation and application, and ensuring ‘fit’ between the timing and content of climate information to the requirements of user institutions.
  • Weather and climate. Understanding of climate-related risks requires awareness of how changes in climate are manifested through weather. In addition, it is important to understand the science behind natural variability as opposed to climate change so that root causes of (oftentimes complex) problems are better identified, and solutions can be designed and targeted more effectively.
  • Risk framework. Climate information (with the exception of past and current information) is filled with probabilities and inherent uncertainties. This presents a challenge to decision-makers who are often left with limited information (such as past climate trends and future projections) to make decisions that could impact future conditions and socio-economic vulnerabilities.
  • Emergency management system. Prior to the actual occurrence of a disaster event, the dominant disaster management activity is “preparedness”. As the event unfolds, disaster management actors become involved in the “response” phase. There is a period of “recovery” following the response to the disaster event. The “mitigation” phase then occurs as disaster management improvements are made in anticipation of the next disaster event. EOC is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management, or disaster management functions at a strategic level in an emergency situation, and ensuring the continuity of operation of a company, political subdivision or other organization.
  • Institutional partnerships. Another important element in this training is on bridging different institutional languages and cultures (e.g. scientific vs. policy; scientific vs. operational), realigning institutional mandates, priorities, and planning horizons to ensure that climate risks are assessed and corresponding risk management solutions are integrated into programming and broader policy and decision making processes.

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