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Asia-Pacific officials discuss climate change in Cambodia

Published on 19 September 2014 Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 officials from some 20 economies in Asia and the Pacific are meeting with donor institution representatives in Cambodia's Siem Reap province in a bid to strengthen public financial management systems for climate change adaptation projects, said a news statement on Monday.

Organized by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the two-day forum set up a platform for participants to share experience and identify solutions to climate financing challenges.

"Finding effective ways for at-risk communities to finance the cost of adaptation to the effects of climate change is key to reducing vulnerabilities and improving people's lives and livelihoods," said Michael Yates, director of USAID's Regional Development for Asia.

"Countries in this region are often hardest hit by extreme weather, such as tropical cyclones and flooding, and need to improve their resilience by planning and acting before disaster strikes."

Recent studies estimated that 100 million people could be affected by storm surges in South Asia and that erratic weather patterns would likely result in a rise of water-borne diseases such as dengue and diarrhea, especially among women and children, said the statement, released by the U.S. Embassy to Cambodia.

"The estimated costs of adapting to the effects of climate change range from 70 billion U.S. dollars to 100 billion U.S. dollars annually by the year 2050," it said.

The forum is sharing information to help Asia and Pacific Island countries and regions better understand how to access funds such as those associated with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"Through such forum, we hope to guide countries and regions to effectively manage emerging climate change related risks and to support them with their own efforts to move towards a low-emission, climate-resilient future," said Gordon Johnson, Regional Cluster Leader of Resilient and Sustainable Development from UNDP.

Participants also learned about actions that their peers around Asia and the Pacific have taken to strengthen their country and region systems, including aligning national adaptation plan processes for climate sensitive budgets and plans, strengthening financial systems to access climate funds and harnessing private sector investment for adaptation, the statement said.

Source: Global Post | 15 September 2014