Cambodia’s Youth Statement


Background of Cambodia’s Commitment to Addressing Climate Change

In December 1995, Cambodia ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and officially joined as a Party on 17 March 1996, signaling its early commitment to global climate action. 

By 2002, the Ministry of Environment heightened its focus on climate issues. Recognizing the urgency, the Cambodia Climate Change Office (CCCO) was established in 2003. This entity transformed into the Climate Change Department (CCD) in 2009. Further institutional evolution took place in 2015 when the CCD became the Department of Climate Change under the General Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development (GSSD), reinforcing Cambodia’s dedication to sustainable development.

In 2015, Cambodia presented its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), detailing its GHG mitigation strategy for 2020-2030, contingent on support from the international community.

Reaffirming its global commitment, Cambodia signed the Paris Climate Agreement in April 2016 and ratified it by February 2017. Despite its minimal contribution to global GHG emissions, the country remains acutely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Consequently, national strategies such as the Rectangular Strategy Phase IV (2018-2023) and the National Strategic Development Plan (2019-2023) emphasize a sustainable, green, and climate-resilient society.

Cambodia has also proactively met UNFCCC mandates, submitting two National Communications in 2002 and 2016. In 2017, the country shared a voluntary national forest reference emissions level with the UNFCCC. The National Council for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, recently released the Biennial Update Report (BUR) to the UNFCCC, encapsulating Cambodia’s strategies, challenges, and commitments in addressing climate change.

In essence, Cambodia’s efforts highlight its steadfast commitment to both national and global sustainable development initiatives.


Recognizing Cambodia’s heightened vulnerability to the repercussions of climate change is a concern underlined in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Recalling the various disasters Cambodia has grappled with, including the drought of 2002, which distressed over 2 million residents, the devastation following the 2009 typhoon Ketsana, economic setbacks due to natural disasters in 2011, the 2013 floods that impacted vast swathes of the population, and the disruptive heatwaves of 2016.

Highlighting that critical sectors, including agriculture, infrastructure, forestry, and human health, face significant risks, with coastal areas being particularly susceptible to the threats of rising sea levels and intrusion.

Emphasizing that climate change compounds existing challenges, magnifying adversities, especially given Cambodia’s restricted adaptive capacity, a concern underpinned by socioeconomic conditions, as documented in Cambodia’s Updated NDC.

Celebrating Cambodia’s proactive steps, as outlined in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), to enhance mitigation measures by targeting a 41.7% reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to current trajectories.

Appreciating the extensive consultation process that sculpted the revised NDC, which underscores the significance of gender equality and prioritizes the needs of vulnerable communities.

Recognizing that youth involvement in climate action is an essential contribution toward realizing the NDCs through various youth-led initiatives that support environmental and climate actions.

Pushing ahead the 2023 Climate Action Week (LCOY) as the first local youth conference on climate change in Cambodia with the support from UNDP Cambodia and the University of Hull, organized by Impact Hub Phnom Penh as an opportunity for the Cambodian youth to speak up and contribute meaningfully to climate change issues, which centers on one theme: Climate Actions Through Youth Led-Initiatives.

Cambodian Youth Statement

We, the Cambodian youth,


Recognize the importance of youth’s voices and their involvement in society as well as in the decision-making process do matter in bringing about constructive changes and developments to society with inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability; 


Reaffirm our commitment to vigorously enforcing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the pertinent multilateral agreements in the fields of environment, climate change, and the circular economy;


Call upon all stakeholders to take immediate and ambitious action to contribute to climate action in Cambodia.

In pursuit of holistic Climate Action, we, the Cambodian youth, declare:


We wish to express our profound gratitude to YOUNGO for entrusting us with the honor of hosting the inaugural Local Conference of Youth (LCOY) in Cambodia. This significant milestone would not have been possible without the generous backing of UNDP Cambodia and the University of Hull, to whom we extend our sincere appreciation.


A heartfelt acknowledgment is due to the 15 dedicated young Cambodians who took part in the 2023 Climate Action Week training. Their commitment and enthusiasm set a commendable example for climate action. We are equally grateful to all the attendees, especially the spirited youth, who graced the LCOY conference on the 25th of October 2023 with their presence and made their voices resonate.


Special thanks are reserved for all the stakeholders who contributed their expertise during the panel discussions and dialogue sessions. The insights from the Ministry of Environment and the numerous youth-led organizations have enriched our understanding and spurred collective motivation.


In unity, collaboration, and shared vision, we are making strides towards a sustainable future, and for this, we thank each and every individual who played a part in this transformative journey.