Cambodia is part of mainland Southeast Asia. Bordered by Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam and with a coastal region on the Gulf of Thailand, it covers an area of 181,040 km2. Cambodia’s topography includes the low-lying central plains of the Mekong River, which runs north to south through the country; mountainous and highland regions that surround the river delta; and a coastline that stretches for 435 km. In 2010, Cambodia had a population of 14.5 million, with 80% living in rural areas. Population density is low for the region, at only 75 people per km2.
Cambodia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is USD 10,354 million per year. Of that, agriculture contributes 33%, employing 57% of the country’s labor force. Cambodia’s agriculture is mainly based on rainfed rice and mixed crops. Agricultural production is dependent on the annual flooding and recession of the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake, which is an outlet of the Mekong. These natural rhythms bring fertile alluvium soils to the central plains. Because of this, only about 19.5% or approximately 400,000 hectares of cultivated land in Cambodia require irrigation.
Cambodia is one of the more disaster‐prone countries in Southeast Asia, as it is 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, and predominantly agrarian country. 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.
Cambodia’s National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) was published in October 2006. It prioritizes actions in response to current and projected impacts of climate variability and change on the country’s most vulnerable sectors: agriculture, forestry, water, health, and coastal zones.