Cambodia strives for ownership of their GCF-NAP process

Cambodia aims to lead the way in adaptation planning, through direct access to climate financing.
Cambodia is working to implement their National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process by developing a NAP Readiness proposal for submission to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). 
The Cambodia NAP Readiness proposal will fully integrate with development plans, advance multi-sectoral coordination and cooperation, and will be – for the first time – entirely country driven.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded joint UNDP-UN Environment National Adaptation Plan Global Support Programme (NAP-GSP) is promoting this process by enhancing technical capacity.
Cambodia is demonstrating that LDCs themselves can assume more responsibility for developing and implementing readiness projects.
22 February 2019, Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Cambodia is one of the first least developed countries (LDCs) seeking to directly access GCF support for their National Adaptation Plan (NAP), in a process which is entirely country-driven.
The GCF Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme (the Readiness Programme) is a funding programme to enhance country ownership and access to the Fund. Yet, the process can be challenging for many LDCs to undertake without ongoing assistance from global entities and agencies.
Less than 25 percent of GCF Readiness grants to LDCs are currently implemented by in-country institutions. The rest are being implemented by regional and international agencies and organisations. For NAP Readiness, there are currently very LDCs developing or managing grants through endogenous institutions, making this process an ambitious first for Cambodia.
There are many benefits of country ownership in the process to access NAP Readiness support. Endogenous capacity is built and retained, stakeholder engagement is country-driven, champions are fostered at the national level, and there is greater integration with the country’s existing development priorities and trajectory.
Grasping this opportunity, and motivated by the recognition of the immense challenges that climate change poses to the country, Cambodia is now seeking direct access readiness support – whereby the country will design and implement projects themselves.
The Government of Cambodia has made strides in identifying priority projects and embracing the need for adaptation at the ministerial level. Yet challenges remain in the implementation and mobilisation of resources. 
The NAP process provides an opportunity to improve access to external climate financing to support the implementation of the Cambodia Climate Change Strategic Plan (CCCSP - 2014-2023). Fifteen different national level agencies and ministries have already developed sectoral Climate Change Action Plans (CCAP- 2014-2018).  These articulated priority vulnerabilities and adaptation actions for each of the sectors. Yet, the vast majority of the actions recommended in these plans did not receive funding.  Priority sectors highlighted within these plans – as well as within the National Communications to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – include agriculture, forests and public health. 
The NAP-GSP received a request from the Government of Cambodia, to provide initial support to the Department of Climate Change (DCC), under the Ministry of Environment, for the development of the NAP Readiness proposal to the GCF. NAP-GSP worked in close collaboration with the Cambodian Climate Change Alliance (CCCA) to provide targeted support. The support mission was conducted in February 2019, in which NAP-GSP provided guidance on proposal development to the DCC team, as well as training in alignment with other climate change policies and processes. NAP-GSP also supported the DCC to convene a project proposal team, identify existing capacities and competencies, and organise the key elements to develop a bankable project. NAP GSP has previously partnered with Cambodia in 2014, when it prepared a national adaptation plan stock-taking report and recommendations for a NAP road-map in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Cambodia is ensuring the NAP process is consultative, multi-sectoral and inclusive. NAP-GSP supported a range of stakeholder consultation, engaging all key entities, including the National Mekong Committee and Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Ministry of Rural Development, Strategic Program for Climate Resilience, the National Council for Democratic Decentralization, and the Council for the Development of Cambodia. 
The NAP Readiness proposal well underway – paving the way for a more inclusive and country-driven access route for climate financing.