CBA16: putting the LLA principles into practice


The 16th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA16) took place to create a world where all people are on a pathway to climate-resilient, low-emission sustainable development, and putting the principles for locally led adaptation into practice.

Last updated 18 October 2022
A man walking through a field with a cow

A man walking through a field with a cow in India (Photo: Navaneeth Kishor via FlickrCC BY 2.0)

CBA16 logo

CBA16 brought together practitioners, grassroots representatives, local and national government planners, policymakers and donors working at all levels and scales to discuss how to put the principles for locally led adaptation (LLA) into practice.

CBA16 took place online from 3-4 October 2022 via a bespoke event platform. The virtual agenda brought wider access to climate practitioners globally, reduced our carbon footprint and lowered our environmental impact. It created interactive networking opportunities so participants gained more ideas, inspiration and connections for climate action at this pivotal moment in time.

This year, CBA took place one month before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27). The CBA community of practice and partners were well placed to channel the messages emerging from the conference directly to COP27 through our partnership with Development and Climate Days (D&C Days) and the Resilience Hub.

This year, CBA’s focus was on the principles for locally led adaptation (LLA). It became a space for the adaptation community – especially supporters of LLA – to come together to share how to put the LLA principles into practice, recognising the complexities, innovations and challenges that must be overcome.

CBA16 put the experiences and knowledge of local communities and adaptation practitioners at the centre, grounding discussions for supporters of LLA in the realities at the forefront of locally-led climate action.

The locally led adaptation principles call on donors, governments, civil society and the private sector to change the way adaptation and development is practised.

They were co-developed based on discussions with a wide range of adaptation actors and seek to align funding behind the knowledge and priorities of the people who are most vulnerable to climate change; partly because it's the right thing to do – but also because doing so leads to more efficient use of funds and resources. The LLA principles are about creating the conditions for local people to be in charge of their own needs.

CBA16 provided an interactive online platform for the global adaptation community of practice to come together to promote effective, locally-led climate action. Participants were welcome whether they were e long-time grassroots activists and participants, international practitioners or local adapters new to international conferences.

Through knowledge sharing and influencing global processes and platforms for adaptation – including COP27 – CBA16 ensured that the perspectives of people on the frontline are heard at the highest levels. The conference was space to explore the importance and urgency of locally led adaptation and other burning issues.

Session recordings

The sessions involved hundreds of participants and covered a range of topics. You can watch all the recordings of the sessions throuigh the videos below or in this playlist on IIED's YouTube channel.

A playlist of recordings of all 16 sessions from CBA16 

The CBA16 agenda 

CBA’s sessions this year focused on putting locally led adaptation into practice. Taking the view from the 'ground up', sessions explored local practitioners' experiences of working with LLA, sharing their experiences of successes and challenges.

See all the sessions via the agenda.

In the video below Sushila Pandit, who acted as MC of CBA16, shared what participants could expect from the event:

About the CBA conferences 

The global CBA conferences are held each year to: 

  • Enable transformative outcomes through community-driven climate action 
  • Facilitate a space for innovation and interactivity to drive global ambition for a climate-resilient future, and 
  • Re-imagine solutions by sharing, learning, challenging assumptions and collaborating on good practices. 

Past CBA conferences have brought together leaders and experts from those working at grassroots level and in the international arena such as Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD); Sonam P. Wangdi, former chair of the Least Developed Countries Group; Sheela Patel, former chair of Slum Dwellers International; Florah Ashihundu, community mobiliser at Shibuye Community Health Workers; Rosemary Atieno, chief executive officer and founder of Community Mobilization for Positive Empowerment; and Joshua Amponsem, executive director of Green Africa Youth Organisation.

The conference videos and presentations provide a valuable learning resource for practitioners and policymakers during and after the event to continue the conversation. See what happened at CBA15 in this YouTube playlist.

What makes the CBA conference different? 

It's the only one of its kind for practitioners

The conference prioritises the lived experience, evidence and perspectives of those working directly to deliver community-based climate adaptation, including community, research and local and national government representatives. 

It creates evidence that informs action

Donors and large adaptation programmes come to CBA to find out directly from the practitioners what works and what doesn’t. As Nathanial Matthews, CEO of the Global Resilience Partnership, said: “CBA is a central event for GRP. It provides us with a consolidated opportunity to collaborate with community leaders and to understand adaptation issues from a wide range of perspectives that informs the best use of our resources from policy through to practice." 

It puts community at the centre

CBA is the only adaptation conference that puts the lived experiences and knowledge of local people at the centre – creating a space that enables the voices of the most vulnerable to shape decisions about the future of adaptation.  

93% of attendees said that attending CBA15 improved their knowledge of what is effective in ensuring that climate change responses work for marginalised people. 

The CBA16 conference offers great conversations, networking and opportunities to engage in meaningful discussion through the meet-and-greets and two days of thematic sessions.

CBA14 and CBA15 hosted more than a week of a wide variety of online activities and after two years of being online we redirected some of those resources to develop other parts of the wider CBA programme of work, and come back stronger for an in-person CBA17.

We’re conducting a monitoring, evaluation and learning exercise looking at the impact of the last 15 conferences and this year’s participants have the chance to participate in this process to inform the future of CBA conferences. We are also fundraising and seeking new partners.

If you would like to become a supporter and join the CBA steering group, please get in touch with CBA programme manager Teresa Sarroca ([email protected]).

About the organisers

CBA16 was funded by the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, Irish Aid and IIED, and organised with co-hosts the Global Resilience Partnership, CAREPractical Action and Green Africa Youth Organisation, in collaboration with the contributing partners, ICCCAD, FRIENDSHIP and Sida.

Hosted by

Contributing partners


For all enquiries, please contact [email protected].