Climate risk management proves critical to sustaining food security in Cambodia


A USAID-funded Cambodia fisheries project outperformed productivity goals after incorporating climate-sensitive design, including planning for increased risk of drought and extreme heat events. The Feed the Future Cambodia Rice Field Fisheries I (RFF II) project boosts fishery productivity in the Tonle Sap floodplain. Project implementers employed systemic climate risk management (CRM) actions to improve biophysical conditions across 481 hectares, exceeding their target by 6 hectares. These improvements build the area’s climate resilience by helping to protect fish habitats and diversity, maintain fish biomass, and secure water for drinking and irrigation. As climate change poses real threats to agricultural systems, CRM plays a crucial role in creating the sustainable and resilient practices necessary to achieve food and nutrition security goal. The project has helped build the capacity of communities to raise nearly $270,000 for rice field fisheries management and conservation, according to USAID Cambodia.

CRM activities delivered through The Feed the Future Cambodia RFF II project contributed to an estimated $11.3 million in net benefits from fish production over three years.”

Nearly 150,000 Cambodians produced and consumed more fish at home in 2020 than in the previous year due to climate-resilient measures undertaken by the RFF II Project, which succeeded in increasing fish production in spite of prolonged droughts in 2018, 2019, and 2020. From 2018 to 2020, farming households directly involved in RFF II (22,800 households) produced nearly 10 percent more fish per household in the 140 community fish refuges compared to 2017. And even in the broader zone of impact (123,000 households), fish production increased by a similar amount per household. Overall, this resulted in an additional $1.2 million in incomes in the 140 community fish refuges and almost $5 million in increased incomes in the zone of impact over the baseline incomes.

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