The NGO Forum on Cambodia was established in 1980 by international NGOs campaigning for an end to the aid embargo imposed on Cambodia. Following the full restoration of development aid in 1993, NGO Forum began to work on a broader range of issues, including an international ban on land mines and the creation of a permanent tribunal for crimes against humanity.
An international Steering Committee was retained until 1996, after which a local Management Committee became the chief decision-making body. Today, the leadership of the Forum is entirely Cambodian.
NGO Forum on Cambodia has been a Southern Voices partner since April 2011. In 2016, the NGO Forum on Cambodia developed a new advocacy strategy on how to influence the commune to consider climate change adapation in their development plans. The strategy was developed with support from Southern Voices on Adaptation.
The NGO Forum’s work on climate change
One of the environment programs of the NGO Forum on Cambodia is the Climate Change Policy Monitoring Project, which brings together local and international NGOs, government agencies, researchers, and environmentalists. It promotes awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation strategies, and seeks to strengthen the capacity of NGOs to effectively advocate for best practice adaptations.
The project works through the NGO Environment and Climate Change Alliance (NECA). Through the Alliance members, the project gives communities a voice to influence policy-makers to be more accountable. Sensitivity to gender roles and women’s rights runs across all areas of the project.
Advocacy and Joint Principles for Adaptation
The advocacy objective is to make NECA and affected communities capable of successfully influencing environment and climate change adaptation strategies and policies, including gender responsiveness, to benefit the poor and vulnerable people in Cambodia.
The principles A, C and D have guided and been applied by NECA/NGOF members. All advocacy strategies were applied based on the principle A, C and D by mobilizing the stakeholders through consultation, joint statements and policy briefs. The stakeholders include local communities, authorities and academics as well as government officers.
The formulation, implementation and monitoring is participatory and inclusive
All government sectors and levels of administration have defined responsibilities
and appropriate resources to fulfil them
Local adaptation plans are developed through approaches that build the resilience
of communities and ecosystems
Key achievements from advocacy work
There are now regular meetings between line ministries and CSO representatives, in which CSOs actively engage and share perspectives on a variety of policy and strategic frameworks of the government, such as the Cambodia Climate Change Strategic Plan (CCCSP) 2013-2023, and the National Strategy Development Plan and Draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Law.
The NGO Forum on Cambodia is actively influent to the National Adaptation Plan Process and Intended Nationally Determining Contribution (INDC). The government has also mainstreamed climate change into sub-national planning by creating a guideline (still in draft form) set up by the National Committee for Decentralization and Deco centralization (NCDD) of the Ministry of Interior.