5th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA5)

The Bangladesh Prime Minister launched the 5th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA5) with a call for shared learning.

Article, 13 April 2011
CBA5 participants visited Char Kukri-Mukri island on the southeast coast. Here women tend mangrove seedlings destined to provide a barrier against erosion (Photo: B. Koelle)

CBA5 participants visited Char Kukri-Mukri island on the southeast coast. Here women tend mangrove seedlings destined to provide a barrier against erosion (Photo: B. Koelle)

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed the need for mutual learning when she spoke at the opening of the 5th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA5) in Dhaka on 28 March 2011.

More than 390 participants from government, academia and non-governmental organisations attended the event.

Field trips for mutual learning

Before the formal conference delegates were able to participate in field visits to learn how communities are adapting to climate change.

In her opening address, Sheikh Hasina referred to the field visits, saying: "All of you from different parts of the world have already visited many communities across Bangladesh. You have also seen how communities have already been affected and are facing the challenges of climate change.

"It is a world of mutual learning. While you as scientists must learn from the communities and their activities, the poor communities, local government and non-governmental organisations must learn from the scientists to solve the problems cause by climate change."

The conference theme was "Scaling up: beyond pilots", emphasising the need to spread CBA knowledge across communities and vertically across levels of governance and action.

Recurring issues raised at the conference included:

  • Understanding power-relations dynamics between genders
  • Relationships between local peoples, and between communities and other levels
  • Incorporating youth and children into CBA project design and projects
  • Communicating non-ambiguously with stakeholders at all levels
  • Scaling meteorological prediction services down to levels more useful for dispersed rural populations, and
  • Integrating CBA with other developmental and environmental projects.

You can watch a film summarising the conference below:

Blogs about the CBA5 field trips

Our CBA5 coverage included numerous guest blogs about the field trips to projects around Bangladesh:

Conference materials

This Q&A with Hannah Reid looks at key issues, funding, examples, and more about the conference.

Watch a playlist of daily video blogs by Saleemul Huq, senior fellow, IIED's Climate Change Group. 

View presentations from the conference on SlideShare (35 available). You can review them to get more details on each session and the key speakers. You can also download the conference flyer and the programme

The discussions and material presented at CBA5 formed the basis of a book entitled Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change – Scaling it up, published by Routledge in 2014.

Conference co-sponsors

Comic Relief

Commonwealth Foundation

UK Department for International Development

Practical Action


The Asia Foundation

The Nature Conservancy

United Nations Development Programme

World Food Programme

World Health Organisation


Nature Publishing Group