Community Based Adaptation (CBA)

Here at weADAPT, we understand CBA to be local community action on climate adaptation initiatives. This may involve participatory learning and problem-solving (including creative trial-and-error approaches), documentation and sharing, collaborative planning and local implementation of climate adaptation initiatives.

JULY FEATURE:  London Climate Week!

What CBA-relevant activities are underway?  Below in the FEATURE section!


Some examples of Community Based Adaptation may be local adaptive planning around changing rainy seasons with modified agricultural planting seasons as well as adjusted crop choice, sometimes termed climate-smart food production; community disaster risk trainings to store water and food stuffs on high-and-dry lands to cope with increase of floods; local redesign of building structures to mitigate losses from high-intensity cyclones, floods, or soil erosion; community cooperation on mangrove and native biodiversity restoration, increasing resilience to coastal erosion while creating local sustainable livelihoods.

CBA Climate-Smart Farming, including water planning that enables the farm to carry-on as usual for as long as 40 days of drought; Thailand. (Photo: E. Parry, 2015)

CBA can be locally derived or managed, reflective of local cultures / eco-cultures / bio-cultures (perceptions of, and relationships to, humans and non-humans and nature) and societal functions. This offers an opportunity for sustainable and sustaining, self-organising and evolving local engagement on climate change adaptation, guided by local knowledge and wisdom, including Indigenous and other forms of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) relating to adaptive management of complex social-ecologies of specific populations.  This CBA Theme spaces also opens consideration of 'local' community based climate action within local-to-local network engagement of climate iniatives wherein the diversity and local endogeneity remains, yet is enhanced through wider network collaboration and sharing.

Above is an example of community developed climate-smart agriculture collaboratively evolved across a network of local farmers in a Karen village bordering Myanmar and Thailand. CBA approaches include a merging of organic techniques with traditional ecological knowledge for adaptive management. Farmers interspersed trees and other plants to help mitigate against landslides becoming more common in these hills, with higher temperatures, protracted drought and fires, followed by heavy rainfall. (Photo: E.Parry, 2014).


JULY FEATURE: City-focus on Climate!

London Climate Week:

Tuesday 2nd July, 2pm-5:30pm – Money Where it Matters 101: this workshop provides an opportunity to learn how the climate finance landscape could be fundamentally reformed to ensure that more and better quality climate finance reaches the local level. During this workshop IIED researchers will present three interactive sessions with opportunities for participants to learn and share their own evidence and experiences.  The sessions will include: i) Vision: IIED’s vision for a reimagined climate finance system, providing an opportunity for participants to give their own experiences of why local action can deliver climate action at scale, and the multiple ways it can be delivered; ii) a session on the Money Where it Matters framework: IIED’s framework for how to design, support and grow “frontier” climate funds that put resources into the hands of local communities at the frontiers of climate change. This provides an opportunity for workshop participants to discuss the key principles needed for climate finance to support local action; and a third session iii) Recommendations for climate finance reforms: An opportunity to discuss and share recommendations for key changes required in the climate finance system to deliver local action at scale. (Please see a link to the Money Where it Matters webpage for more info:

Thursday 4th July, 9:30am – 5pm – Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) Locally Led Action Track Evidence Co-creation: The GCA’s Locally Led Action Track aims to address this imbalance to bring about a qualitative shift in how adaptation and development is undertaken, and placing the power in the hands of local actors. IIED is helping this Action Track and is seeking evidence and experience on locally led adaptation finance from actors across the whole climate finance system. This is event is organised to feed directly into the evidence generation for the GCA’s Locally Led Adaptation Action Track; this “Evidence Co-creation” day will be based around key questions to gather experience, evidence and ideas around locally led adaptation finance. This workshop will provide a space for all actors from across the climate finance system to build bridges and work out the key principles and solutions to local adaptation finance.

You can register for these programs by clicking here.

3rd July as part of #LDNClimateAction Week: Leading from the front: responding with urgency to the climate emergency 

Representatives of the least developed countries, grassroots community organisations and climate action leaders will attend an IIED-organised series of high-level debates during London Climate Action Week in July.

Other CBA-relevant events during #LondonClimateWeek #LDNClimateAction week (join in, bring the CBA lens into these discussions):

Climate Change Challenges: lessons from Bangladesh 
At the Royal Geographical Society on 1 Kensington Gore, SW7 2AR; 1st July 2019, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Cape Town: Day Zero- sharing perspectives of a city's water crisis   Hosted by Resilience Shift, at Arup, 8 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 4BQ on 3rd July 6 pm to 8 pm.
Water on the Table: Climate Action in London and Ghana  At the Global Generation Skip Garden & Kitchen, TAPPER WALK, N1C 4AQ; hosted by WaterAid, 3rd July from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. 
29th Global Forum on Forest Governance   
At the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, 10 St. James Square, SW1Y 4 LE; 1st July 2019, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Through the lens of 'Smart Sustainable Cities' Technology: friend or foes of climate change?  
The British Computer Society, Davidson Building, 5, Southampton Street, WC2E 7HA; 1st July 2019, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Transformative insurance for climate action  co-hosted by EIT Climate-KIC and GCF, at the Fora Space, 180 Borough High Street,SE1 1LB;  1st July, 10 am to 5 pm.
 Food Systems Transformation for Climate Resilience  At the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, 10 St. James' Square, SW1Y 4LE, on 4th July from 2 pm to 5 pm. 
A conversation between former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and Sister Jayanti, European Director of BKs and the BK UN Representative at Geneva  At the Global Cooperation House, 65069 Pound Lane, NW10 2HH, on 7th July from 7 pm to 9 pm. 
Other Adaptation, Resilience & CBA-relevant events for London Climate Action Week are searchable here. 


The New Highlander School: 

Moderated CBA-Based Collaborative Discussion Forums

The first of a regular moderated discussion forum of the New Highlander School online was held this past 1st May 2019, 9 am BST. You can continue with the (unmoderated, long-term) discussion of models that work or don't, and lessons therein, here in the comments thread. You can click here to learn more about why we are calling it The New Highlander School. The next moderated discussion will be held in July, taking on board the suggestions and experiential learning from the first. Stay tuned! 

You voted, and the first choice for discussion is "Models for CBA Climate Action: what works, what doesn't, and what does it teach us?"   Bring your stories, your questions, your examples across the board!  Find out more here. Come to the discussion page to see what was discussed and add your voice to the ongoing discussion.   The next moderated discussion forum through the CBA Theme will be held in July (TBA), and will focus on the 2nd most popular choice of subject, Questions of Scale: reconsidering our understanding of scale and relationship to the global 'whole' through the local lens.  The next session details will be announced here on the CBA Theme. We are seeking to incorporate learning from the first discussion forum, with an aim to include interactive online live video conferencing alongside the written discussion forum board. 

CBA13 Conference: Local Solutions Inspiring Global Action

This CBA Theme on the weADAPT platform was launched in conjunction with, and celebration of, the CBA 13 conference (and the series of conferences building a CBA community) in Ethiopia.

You can find the event proceedings and outcomes of the week here. You can also log-in to join the CBA13 Discussion Forum! For an overview and further links to past CBA conferences, click here. 

The 13th international conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA13) was held in Addis Ababa,1-4 April, 2019.  “CBA13 will bring together practitioners, grassroots representatives, local and national government planners, policymakers and donors working at all levels and scales to discuss how we can drive ambition for a climate-resilient future.”  The program placed emphasis on three interlocking themes: climate finance, adaptation technology, and policy engagement. Key aims were to facilitate the gathering of a community of practitioners collectively seeking to reimagine solutions to climate change that enable transformative outcomes through the agency of communities. The values and intent brought imbued within the conference proceedings were for inclusive, gender-transformative and meaningful engagement, sharing and collaborating around good practice and challenging assumptions, drawing on evidence to inform the scalability of effective approaches, and influencing and shaping decision making processes.  FIND OUT MORE!

To learn more about all previous CBA conferences, go to the iied CBA Conference archive



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Get daily updates from #CBA13 at:

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Members are welcome to comment here on the CBA Theme page, and / or to start a forum discussion. For information on how to start a forum discussion around CBA, click here. Discussion around any CBA-related topics are welcome here, from climate finance to modeling and action, to dealing with challenges, coming up with creative solutions, or anything CBA-related you'd like to know more about, share, or explore. Welcome!

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Tomorrow 1st May, 9 am BST, please join the New Highlander School moderated discussion: CBA models for climate action: what works, what doesn't, and what does it teach us?

We will be using this forum to host the first of a regular monthly moderated discussion forum on CBA issues. To find out what time this will be held where you are, search from the international meeting planner!



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