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.

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 (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 knowledge relating to adaptive management of local ecologies of specific populations.  

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).


The New Highlander School:
Monthly Moderated CBA-Based Collaborative Discussion Forums

The first of a regular monthly 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 a month's time, 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 June (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 has been 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!

Above: CBA12 Gende Talanoa. Photo credit: IIED.

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

The Global Initiative on Community Based Adaptation( GICBA )

The Global Initiative on Community-Based Adaptation (GICBA) is an open platform aiming to sharing and learning between all organisations (and individuals) working on community-based adaptation to climate change. GICBA is totally free to join, open to anyone, and is a virtual network to enable sharing of project experiences, tools and methods and to catalyse discussion around important issues.

Aims of GICBA:

  • Collective thinking and engagement around Community-Based Adaptation
  • Generate and share evidence based research and experience
  • Create a community of practice with strong learning elements through the Community based adaptation exchange (CBAX)
  • Support the series of International Conferences on CBA to climate change.
  • Strengthen capacity of all stakeholders to design, implement and scale up CBA

Find out more about GICBA and join the Network here.

Key topics within this theme:

  • Local DRR and CBA overlap / convergence
  • Community DRR  / DRM
  • Local Adaptation farming / climate smart agriculture
  • Participatory Program Design
  • Climate Justice
  • Loss and Damage
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge, local wisdom and practices for adaptive ecological management
  • Local Biocultural approaches to climate change
  • Resilience and Seed Sovereignty
  • Biodiversity and Resilience
  • Capabilities and Capacity
  • Climate Finance
  • Global CBA community
  • Community adaptation to cyclones, floods, soil erosion
  • Local Food Sovereignty / Food Security
  • Sustainable Livelihoods
  • Participatory Action Research
  • Participatory M&E

Some Key Resources    


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Get daily updates from #CBA13 at:

53145682 10157044526292229 5522624731955593216 n - climate adaptation.

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!

53145682 10157044526292229 5522624731955593216 n - climate adaptation.

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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