Community-based adaptation (CBA) conference archive

Since 2005, IIED and its partners have organised a series of international conferences on community-based adaptation (CBA) to enable practitioners, governments and donors to share latest developments and best practice. This page provides a summary of all the CBA conferences to date.

Community-based adaptation
A programme of work showing how IIED is supporting a community of practice and advancing knowledge on community-based adaptation to climate change, and promoting South-South collaboration
People sitting on a round table and writing notes on a poster.

Participants exchanging knowledge and ideas at CBA17. The 2023 event was the first time it had taken place in-person for three years (Photo: IIED)

CBA logo

Community-based adaptation to climate change (CBA) focuses on empowering communities to use their own knowledge and decision-making processes to take action on climate change. 

The CBA conferences aim to:

  • Share and consolidate the latest developments in CBA best practice, policy and theory across different sectors and countries
  • Strengthen existing networks of practitioners, policymakers, planners and donors working on CBA at all levels, and
  • Enhance the capacity of practitioners, governments and donors to help those most vulnerable to climate change.

The 2024 conference, CBA18, took place from 6 May to 9 May 2024 in Arusha, Tanzania.

To find out more about each year's event, click on the title to expand the information. The links provide access to the key reports and outputs from each event.

Previous events

The 18th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA17) was attended by over 300 practitioners, grassroots representatives, local and national policymakers and donors from over 50 countries.

For the first time since 2019, the 17th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA17) was held in-person in Bangkok, Thailand, with a focus on networking and reconnecting. It offered participants four days of discussion, debate, peer-to-peer ‘skill-shares’ and knowledge exchange.

The 16th conference in 2022 was virtual for the third year in a row and focused on putting the principles for locally led adaptation into practice. CBA15 created interactive networking opportunities so participants gained more ideas, inspiration and connections for climate action at this pivotal moment in time.

Following the success of the online event in 2020, the 2021 conference again took place online, from 14-18 June. CBA15 provided a hub for people who are on a pathway to climate-resilient, low-emission and sustainable development and want to thrive in the face of climate change.

The 2020 conference took place online from 21-25 September, allowing the community of practice to continue to meet despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Ahead of the conference, IIED and partners hosted an online event to ignite discussion, and showcase CBA’s themes and interactive, participatory approach to online events.

The 13th international conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA13) took place in Ethiopia from 1-4 April 2019. It had the theme: 'Local solutions inspiring global action'. CBA13 had three central themes: climate finance, adaptation technology and policy engagement.

IIED brought a new approach to CBA12, with a new format of workshops and dialogue sessions that were designed to allow participants to share  experiences in order to develop practical solutions for getting locally-driven climate adaptation into policy, and to explore innovative ways for financing these solutions.

The 9th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation focused on 'Measuring and enhancing effective adaptation'. The conference concluded with the release of the Nairobi declaration on community-based adaptation to climate change, which calls for developed nations to step up support for vulnerable countries as they work to meet ambitious goals for climate change adaptation.

The 8th International Community-Based Adaptation conference was themed 'Financing local adaptation'. Over 400 people from more than 60 countries attended. The conference concluded with the launch of the Kathmandu declaration on financing local adaptation, which calls for a radical shift in finance flows to ensure the most vulnerable communities can adapt to climate change.

CBA7 focused on 'mainstreaming CBA into national and local planning'. The conference closing session featured a video address by Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UNFCCC, as well as speeches by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland; Camilla Toulmin, former director of IIED; and Pauline Tamesis, country director, UNDP Bangladesh.

The theme of CBA6 was 'communicating CBA'. The conference featured a variety of communications-related sessions on topics such as blogging, working with the media, photo storytelling, using games to communicate risk, and tools for working with children. Another focus was outreach, with live interviews broadcast online each day and delegates writing almost 30 blog posts and nearly 2,000 tweets.

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed the importance of mutual learning when she gave the opening address at CBA5 in Dhaka on 28 March 2011. The conference theme was 'Scaling up: beyond pilots', emphasising the need to spread CBA knowledge across communities and also vertically across levels of governance and action.

The 4th international CBA conference was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and focused on sharing the latest developments in CBA practices, particularly work in vulnerable communities. Participants set up numerous working groups and agreed to develop the Global Initiative on Community-Based Adaptation (GICBA), a network which seeks to support CBA-related activities by through knowledge-sharing.

Delegates to CBA3 agreed to set up a new initiative to share best practice on climate change adaptation. The conference in Dhaka brought together more than 140 people from 50 countries, and the conference programme featured some 60 presentations on the latest developments in CBA practice.

The 2nd international CBA conference featured three days of technical sessions and interactive discussions as well as field visits to four different locations in Bangladesh, including flood and drought-prone regions. Technical sessions addressed agriculture, drought, food security, extreme events, health, mainstreaming and partnership, and communication and knowledge. 

More than 80 experts, policymakers, NGO representatives and grassroots practitioners attended the 1st International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation. The main aim of this first meeting was to define the concept of CBA and to find ways of gaining acceptance for it.

A decade of CBA

The 2016 event in Dhaka, Bangladesh marked the 10th anniversary of the CBA conferences. This three-minute photofilm highlights some key quotes and images, and debuted on the final day of the conference.

You can also watch this video on IIED's YouTube channel.

Photo gallery