Friday, November 30, 2007

Cambodia faces immediate threats from climate change

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia faces immediate threats to its agricultural production and food security from climate change in rainfall, temperatures and availability of water, said the UNDP Human Development Report (HDR) 2007 released here on Thursday.

For most Cambodians live in rural areas and are reliant on agriculture, long-term risks associated with climate change include water insecurity, increased sea level, cyclones and disruption or collapse of Cambodia's critical ecosystems, said the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the report.

Climate change may increase occurrence of drought and flood while increasing the vulnerability of Cambodia's poor people to their effects, it said.

Increase of disease with climate change may have an adverse impact on people's health, particularly the most vulnerable poor, it said.

However, it said, climate change presents Cambodia many opportunities.

For example, it said, Cambodia can seek technical assistance and financial resources to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation, and mobilize private sector partnerships to transfer appropriate technologies to promote renewable energy in order to support the development of other sectors such as health, education, and transport.

With 0.2 percent of world's population, Cambodia accounts for a negligible percentage of global emissions, it said.

The country has signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol and as a developing country, Cambodia has no obligation to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, but can contribute to emission reduction on a voluntary basis, including through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), it said.

Cambodia ranks 131 out of 177 countries in the Human Development Index (HDI) with its HDI value moving up from 0.543 to0.598 in the last five years, according to the report.

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