[News] Published on Southeast Asia Weekly (SEAW), Vol. 4, Issue 42
Phnom Penh, Cambodia (13 October 2010)
By Sok Lak
The Council for the Rural Agricultural Rehabilitation, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in cooperate with Caritas Cambodia Organization, Caritas Asia Organization and Catholic Relief Services Organization launched a Southeast Asia Farmer’s Conference in Phnom Penh on October 12th to improve the quality of life of million of farmer in Asia especially mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
Under the theme Southeast Asia Farmer’s Conference: “Together to mitigate climate change problems which affect farmer agriculture activities at Southeast Asia Area”, it brought up three main purposes: to improve farmer knowledge and increase the voices of farmers to prevent their right in context of climate change; sharing good experiences and raise the problems in the context of climate change to spread policy (NAPA protocol and National Development Strategy Planning 2009-2013) in order to cut down and adapt climate change to promote food security and sustainable agriculture; and providing a discussion for representative farmers, civil society and government to understand deeply of the effects of climate change on agriculture, receive recommendation and raise the anxieties under the topic of climate change and sustainable agriculture.
Mr. Kim Rattana, Executive Director of Caritas Cambodia Organization said that this conference is very important especially for farmer communities at international and national level to meet each others to discuss all the anxieties and share all experiences around the topic of climate change to find out the solution and response to effect and impact of climate change around the world.
Climate change causing server damages to farmer’s life, living, economic loses which their crops are damaged in the field, cultivation system as the rainfall pattern are changing every year. All farmers are paying the price of climate change but they did not cause it. If the chemical-based agriculture cause green house gasses emission, it noted that it is not a single grassroots level farmers produced chemical fertilizers and pesticide in life-time. Therefore, it should have lion’s share of the mitigation and adaptation funds to allocate due to climate change, Mr. Gabrie Baroi, program officer of Caritas Asia in Bangkok emphasized.
He continued that after the discussion in this conference, all farmers will go back to their community and share the concern with fellow farmers and build advocacy constituency. On the other hand, the panelist, government representatives and representatives from other international level institutions will bring the farmers’ voice to the concerned authorities so that mechanism supportive to farmers’ life and livelihood, funds and mechanism allocated and supported to mitigation, adaptation as well as research and development come to the use for farmers life and livelihood.
H.E Tav Senghour, Secretary of. State of Ministry of Interior and 1st Vice Chairman of Council for Agriculture and Rural Development also said that it is very worrying about climate change around the world nowadays. These situations caused by natural phenomenon and human activities in modern technology life. In fact, the developing of science make human life better and better, but it also impact global environment that cause negative phenomenon such as temperature increased, sea level increased and the number of disasters increased times to times, which affected human life and economy development especially agriculture sector.
“We all have to think together about climate change impact on agriculture and other related activities in this field that cause climate change to have a sustainable agriculture. In this case, government of Cambodia also involve and deal with these problems by giving this important task to Ministry and authority related to this kind of cases such as Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, Council for Agriculture and Rural Development, National Committee for Disaster, to prepare and set up policy, strategy and measures to prevent and mitigate natural disaster especially protect people life and balance economy activities day-life,” he said.
This conference participated by representative of Ministry, Municipal and preventative farmer come form 24 city-province in Cambodia specially representative of Caritas Cambodia Organization, Caritas Asia Organization and Catholic Relief Services Organization with farmers of 13 countries in Asia.