Cambodia is one of the more disaster‐prone countries in Southeast Asia, affected by floods and droughts on a seasonal basis. Cambodia’s vulnerability to climate change is linked to its characteristics as a post‐civil war, least developed, predominantly agrarian country, with nearly 80% of the population living in rural areas. Weak adaptive capacity, poor infrastructure, and limited institutions exacerbate the country’s vulnerability to climate variability and change. Indeed, floods and droughts are recognized by the government as one of the main drivers of poverty. During the 20-year period from 1987 to 2007, a succession of droughts and floods resulted in significant loss of life and considerable economic loss.
This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.
The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.
Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards. Source (PDF)
Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.
Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals.
This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.
- Floods: The southwest monsoon begins in mid May and lasts through the end of October, bringing over three quarters of the country’s annual rainfall. As a result, floods along the Mekong River and its tributaries, as well as from the Tonle Sap Lake are recurrent and often constitute major disasters. Approximately 80% of the country’s population lives along the Mekong River, which is known to have large fluctuations. Floods affect the provinces of Kandal, Kampong Cham, Kratie, Prey Veng, Stung Treng, Svay Rieng, and Takeo. Flash floods in tributaries around the Tonle Sap Lake affect others.
- Droughts: Coupled with poor management, access, and storage of existing water resources, delays or early ending of the monsoon rains and erratic rainfall have contributed to droughts in Cambodia, especially in Svay Rieng province, which is one of the most drought-prone provinces in the country.
- Sea Level Rise: Rising sea levels could pose a significant threat to marine coastal areas, which already suffer from storm surges, high tides, beach erosion and seawater intrusion. Low-lying areas, including settlements, beach resorts; seaports, coastal fisheries, and mangrove forests could all be affected.
More information on natural hazards can be found at ThinkHazard.
- Increased intensity of rainfall during the monsoon seasons could significantly impact flood response management across the Mekong.
- Sea level rise threatens the country’s low-lying areas, including settlements, beach resorts, seaports, coastal fisheries, and mangrove forests.
- Droughts are already a common occurrence in Svay Rieng province, and projected rising temperatures could exacerbate an already vulnerable situation, pushing communities in the area beyond their coping range.