IUCN Cambodia conducted a Promoting Local Innovation workshop in Koh Kapik Commune, Cambodia, during 12-14 Mar 2012. This was aiming to identify and prioritize local adaptation activities to be supported by the project in Koh Kapik Commune. The representatives of Provincial Environment Department, local community and IUCN staff participated in this workshop.
Koh Kapik is an island surrounded by salt water. There are three comprising of 2,900 residents in 625 households. Villagers commute by boat to get into the commune. Traveling by boat from Koh Kapik to Koh Kong city will take around 45 minutes. This community is one of the identified sites of European Union funded Building Coastal Resilience (BCR) project.
Based upon the Vulnerabilities and Capacity Assessment (VCA) primarily conducted in Koh Kapik, two highest vulnerabilities found are of waterway and freshwater respectively. These are resulting from climate and non climate hazards.
Waterway in Koh Kapik combines two kilometer long canal. It is situated by mangroves forest and a long estuary. All year round, the locals use it as their main channel of transportation. However, water level is going down even in the wet season. The waterway is sometimes refilled again from a heavy storm. Therefore, the impact is not so severe.
Freshwater is another important resource of the community. Recently, villagers bought freshwater from another commune in a higher price during the dry season. In wet season during May to October, they will collect water in tanks. This will be used for drinking, cooking, washing and feeding the livestock.
Mr. Kav Sangvat and Mrs. Pean Hean, villagers of Koh Kapik, revealed that due to a significant decrease of freshwater, the commune agreed to conserve a freshwater pond located in the community. By doing this, they will not only get freshwater supply in the dry season, but also can earn higher income from selling fishes and other animals grow in the pond.
All participants worked together to come up with a long term adaptation plan (up to 2013) for Koh Kapik commune. This plan will be a guideline for community development and adaptation to approaching impacts of both climate change and non-climate change factors.
By Kimleong Sar
Outreach Assistant, IUCN Cambodia