CBA conferences: what's so good about them?

As we get ready for CBA13, find out what participants say about attending CBA conferences.

Article, 19 February 2019
CBA12 participants wave goodbye after another successful event (Photo: Teresa Corcoran/IIED)

CBA12 participants wave goodbye after another successful event (Photo: Teresa Corcoran/IIED)

The 13th international conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA13) takes place in Ethiopia on 1-4 April 2019. The conference is expected to bring together hundreds of people involved in community-based adaptation from around the world. 

We asked some of the people who attended last year's CBA conference about the event. Here's what they said:

Nai Zakayo

"Coming from the grassroots, as a representative of a rural women’s forum in Tanzania, it was fantastic to meet and share experiences with people from across the world."

Nai ZakayoA member of the Monduli Women's Forum, a women-led community organisation set up by women pastoralists in Tanzania's Monduli District, Nai Zakayo says CBA12 was a rich learning experience for her. It offered her both the opportunity to share her lived experiences and a chance to work with others to find solutions.

She said: "Participants from national, regional and international levels listened and learned about the bitter experiences our women face as they grapple with the effects of climate change.

"But the focus was on solutions, not problems. During the workshops we came up with ideas together: how women can reduce their vulnerability to climate change, how they can create awareness of the issues facing them, how they can encourage investment to help secure their livelihoods…"

Zakayo especially appreciated the sessions on gender: "The CBA programme was lively and varied – not only highly relevant discussion as part of the event’s key themes (the sessions on gender were so valuable for me), but also practical skills-sharing sessions and some great networking opportunities."

Many good things happened; it was such a productive event.

Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson

The first woman President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson is an internationally respected champion of human rights and climate action. We were delighted to welcome her to CBA12.

The Talanoa looked how to get the voices of women from the grassroots heard in climate change decision-making (Photo: Teresa Corcoran/IIED)

Robinson participated in the Gender and Climate Talanoa at CBA12. A talanoa is an inclusive, participatory conversation – and this talanoa featured climate negotiators, policymakers, private sector representatives, practitioners and women at the grassroots.

About CBA12, Robinson said: "CBA gathers a vibrant and growing community of practice including grassroots representatives, practitioners, policymakers and government planners.

"Bringing huge amounts of energy and expertise, these groups examine local experiences of how communities are adapting to climate change – of what’s really working on the ground – and develop practical ways of getting these bottom-up solutions heard in policy at local, national and global levels."

Constance Achom Okollet

Constance Achom Okollet (Photo: Teresa Corcoran/IIED)

A self-described peasant farmer and mother of seven, Constance Achom Okollet lives in the Tororo district of Eastern Uganda. She also chairs OWN, a consortium of approximately 1,200 small women’s groups working on education, community health and nutrition, and is a founding member of Climate Wise Women. She is a passionate speaker and climate change and the neoed for adaptation, particularly in their agricultural practices, to ensure community resilience.

She says she especially liked the fact that the talanoa roundtable discussions focused on the local communities that were most affected by climate change, and at ways of assisting them.

Okollet suggest that more grassroots participants be invited to participate in CBA13, including women and young people.

This year we are pleased to be able offer subsided tickets and we are also seeing funding to be able to offer fully sponsored places to people from the global South. To find out more, go to our main CBA page.

Stella Gama

Stella Gama

The deputy director of forestry at Malawi’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment, Stella Gama also leads on gender and climate change for the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group at the UNFCCC negotiations.

She also liked the talanoa session at CBA12: "The use of the talanoa storytelling in sharing the experience enabled practical linkages to gender, culture, livelihoods and climate action.

Communities, men and women have experienced impacts of climate change, and using the talanoa, the storytelling approach, to showcase their experiences they are able to also showcase climate actions and improved livelihoods easily.

Victor Orindi

Victor Orindi

Victor Orindi is the coordinator of the Adaptation Consortium, Kenya. The consortium is a component of Kenya's National Drought Management Authority, and is piloting County Climate Change Funds in five arid and semi-arid counties: Garissa, Isiolo, Kitui, Makueni and Wajir.

Orindi found the CBA sessions on climate finance were especially useful: "The sessions on decentralised climate finance gave great insights into the different approaches that different countries are taking. And they brought many lessons – for example, how really understanding the local context is key to success.

He also highlighted the discussions about private sector funding: "We also had lively discussions on how to attract the private sector – a big and ongoing challenge, especially for those working on adaptation in hard-to-reach vulnerable areas."

We interviewed Orindi about climate finance during CBA12 – watch the interview on our YouTube channel.

We're giving him the last word:

At CBA, every participant is actively part of the conversation that puts community experiences at the heart of solutions to climate change adaptation.

Join us for CBA13!

Register now


If you have any questions about the conference or about registration, please email us at