Result from the 2023 SDG 6.5.1 Stakeholder Consultation Process in Cambodia

The SDG 6.5.1 Support Program is GWP’s flagship program aimed at assisting the national SDG 6.5.1. Focal Points in the organisation and facilitation of multi-stakeholder consultation on SDG Indicator 6.5.1, also known as Stage 1 support. The second stage is designed to facilitate the development of an Action Plan or similar in response to the identified challenges in Stage 1. Lastly, Stage 3 has an objective to support the implementation of the selected actions.

Cambodia has participated in the third round of the SDG 6.5.1 Global Monitoring for 2023, through the Support Programme. The survey was organized by the focal point from the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology in collaboration with the GWP Cambodia with the support from Global Office (GWPO). Held on 31st August 2023, the Stakeholder Consultation Workshop followed by 13 participants represented the non-government institutions, whilst the meeting with the Government Line Ministries and Institutions was held on 20 October 2023, followed by 24 participants. The second workshop participants were represented by relevant water and related Line Ministries, Research and Academia, NGOs, Civil Societies, and Independent Professionals.

The stakeholder consultation workshop started with an overview of the previous monitoring and instruction of the current one, then the stakeholders were facilitated to review 33 sub-indicators one by one, discussed, and compared the progress made with the baseline in 2017 and progress made in the 2nd Round Monitoring in 2020 and make judgement on the score based on evidence. To gain additional information, the participants were asked to share their experiences from past activities or projects, including relevant literature to fill up information gaps in the report. The first draft of the report was communicated with the SDG 6.5.1 focal point and GWP Cambodia for review then later requested approval from the Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology to be submitted to the UNEP with an official cover letter.

The main findings from the third round survey that Cambodia has made only a slight progress compared to the Second Round Monitoring (59) with an overall score 62 (Medium-high). Some improvement can be seen from the score in Enabling Environment (66), Institutions and Participation (68) and Management Instruments (63), and without improvement in Financing (52). The present status of IWRM implementation in Cambodia has not moved further from the medium-high as there are insufficient funds for addressing challenges raised under each element and for taking recommended actions, and at the same time there is limited understanding and capacity in leading and implementing IWRM at all level, particularly at the sub-national level. If certain measures are not put in place immediately, Cambodia likely could not attain the global target by 2030.

The participants still strongly suggest that two critical actions leading to increased progress of IWRM implementation toward achieving target in 2030 should be in place, including: (1)  Capacity development and strengthening of the stakeholders, particularly at sub-national level for in-depth understanding and adequate practical skill to continue IWRM implementation; and (2) Ensure budget availability through raising more fund, and mainstreaming IWRM elements into the national and sub-national plans for budget security.