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Eco-Schools across Cambodia: Over 7000 students learn climate adaptation and mitigation practices

By October 22, 2018 No Comments

Chea Sim Angkor Chey is the name of an Eco-School (ES), located at Prarl Village, Tani Commune, Angkor Chey District in the Kampot province.

Initially, the subject of climate change adaptation and mitigation was not included in the national education curriculum in Cambodia. In order to change this situation, the project Mainstreaming Climate Change in Education (MCCE), supported by the EU-funded Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) Cambodia Climate Change Alliance, aims to improve the capacities of secondary schools teachers and students so they can improve their knowledge of climate change through the integration of a climate change subject into the national education curriculum.

The project has supported the school with the creation of the Eco-Club where the students are involved as committee and members. Members of the Eco-Club manage a budget of 400$ to run the club and all the issues happening on it. They work on activities such as bio-garden, resilient farming, water container, renovating toilets, growing trees, creating a small forest demo, transforming waste into other objects, and many others.

Changes in temperature and rainfall in Cambodia have already started since the second half of the 20th century. The projection for the next eighty years suggest that future temperatures in Cambodia will continue to rise, with potential declines in dry season rainfall, and delayed arrival of the wet season regardless of the potential increase in wet season rainfall.

Climate-smart Eco-schools include climate change mitigation and adaptation practices with students. Eco-Club students play model role in improving their Eco-Schools, for example watering resilient vegetables while the rest are monitoring soil quality and pests.

The project is being implemented in four provinces including Kampot, Kampong Chhnang, Stung Treng, and Svay Rieng which represent the geographic areas of coastal, Tonle Sap, floodplain, and plateau, in partnership with Mlup Baitong (MB) and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA).

The direct beneficiaries of the project include: 20 education decision makers, 60 education officers/teachers at sub-national level and 7171 secondary school students.

GCCA+ in Cambodia

As more than 80% of the population depends largely on subsistence agriculture, floods and droughts could push large numbers of people below the poverty line. The national actions to address the climate impacts on national development processes include the efforts to reduce the vulnerability of people and natural system that support livelihoods, as mentioned in the Cambodia Climate Change Strategic Plan.

In order to increase the resilience of communities against the impacts of climate change, initiatives supported by the EU-funded Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+), through the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance, have been developed in the country in the past years. The aim is to reduce emissions and increase people’s adaptation capacities.

Having started with just four pilot projects in 2008, GCCA+ www.gcca.eu is a main climate initiative for vulnerable countries, funded by the European Union, that supports 70 support intervetions of national, regional or global scope in more than 60 countries (of which 37 Least Developed Countries and 36 Small Island Developing States). By 2020, the GCCA+ total investments will raise to EUR 750 million, making it one of the largest climate initiatives in the world.

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