The International Conferences on Community Based Adaptation (CBA) to climate change

Submitted by Emilie Parry 9th April 2019 14:43
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Building a local-to-global CBA community

In January 2005, the first international conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA1) convened with more than 80 experts, policymakers, NGO representatives and grassroots practitioners, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This was initiated in partnership between the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), the Regional and International Networking Group (RING) Alliance of Policy and Research Organisations.

Since then (as of April 2019), thirteen international CBA conferences have been held in eight different countries in Asia and Africa. Keynote speakers have included Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus (CBA3), Louise Chamberland UNDP, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (CBA5), then Executive Secretary of UNFCCC Christiana Figueres, Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, and Atiq Rahman of BCAS, among many illustrious speakers.

GICBA, the Global Initiative for Community Based Adaptation, was launched on the weADAPT platform from a CBA conference in 2006, and is being updated in 2019 with a fresh infusion of activities and strategies from CBA13. Click here for updates and sharing from CBA13.


A delegate at CBA12 in Malawi discusses decentralised climate finance with their peers (Photo: Teresa Corcoran/IIED)

Some Key Outputs from CBA conferences

Numerous outputs from each CBA conference have been produced and shared online, including videos, interviews, blogs, reports and more. Click on the links below to access these resources on IIED's website.

CBA12: Local experience driving climate action

  • The 12th CBA conference in Lilongwe, Malawi, focused on getting local experience on climate action heard. Adaptation practitioners, researchers, policymakers and investors met at CBA12 to discuss how to promote local action on climate change.
  • Read the key messages that came out of the discussions. These messages focus on getting local, lived experience on climate action shared through three workstreams: devolved climate finance, adaptation technology innovation, and local knowledge driving better policy and investments.

CBA 11: Harnessing natural resources and ecosystems for adaptation

CBA10: Enhancing urban community resilience

CBA9: Measuring and enhancing the effectiveness of adaptation to climate change

  • The 9th CBA conference (CBA9) in Nairobi, Kenya, focused on measuring and enhancing the effectiveness of adaptation to climate change and had practitioners from all continents of the world share their experience with each other. 
  • CBA9 resulted in the Nairobi Declaration on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change. This declaration was put forward by representatives of a range of public, civil society, private, local, regional, international agencies, and governmental and non-governmental organisations meeting in Nairobi, Kenya at the 9th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA9). At CBA9, participants discussed methods for measuring the effectiveness of adaptation to climate variability and change for the poorest and most vulnerable. 

CBA8: Latest developments in CBA financing, planning and best practices 

  • The 8th CBA conference in Kathmandu, Nepal brought together different stakeholders and practitioners to share and discuss knowledge on CBA financing, planning and best practice and enhancing the capacity of the most vulnerable groups and people, improving their livelihoods and integrating lessons learnt on financing CBA into local, national and international planning for development and climate change; and on developing a minimum set of advocacy 'asks' for financing local adaptation. Roughly 450 people from 58 different countries attended, including representatives from governments and many of the large international and bilateral funds, donors and foundations currently supporting CBA.
  • CBA8 resulted in

CBA7: Mainstreaming CBA into into international, national and local planning and processes

  • The 7th CBA conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh, shared the latest thinking on approaches for mainstreaming community-based adaptation into international, national and local planning and processes.
  • CBA 7 resulted in the report "Community Based Adaptation: Mainstreaming CBA into national and local planning". This reports looks at the processes, dynamics, opportunities and challenges to mainstreaming CBA into national and local planning. Its considerations include CBA & Agriculture, CBA & DRR, CBA & EbA, water systems, drylands climate resilience, population dynamics and Rights.

To further explore CBA themes over the years, outputs, activities and CBA actors, visit the iied.org link to the CBA Conferences archive. Join the CBA online community on weADAPT through the CBA Theme!


More than 250 participants shared their experiences and examples of good practice at CBA12 (Photo: Teresa Corcoran/IIED). Photo from "The power of storytelling: can traditions from the past find answers to the climate problem?" by Teresa Corcoran