Explore CBA15’s themes

CBA15 approaches locally led climate action through five main themes: climate finance, nature-based solutions, responsive policy, youth inclusion and innovation for adaptation. This page explains these in more detail.

Women sitting in a semi-circle looking at a poster on the floor

Women participating in a workshop in Teanoba, Ghana (Photo: Nafisa Ferdous/CCAFS via FlickrCC BY 2.0)

The 15th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA15) focuses on five themes to drive ambition for a climate-resilient future through effective, locally led action. Here is a summary of these topics:

Climate finance 

What does improved access to climate finance look like at the local level and what do different actors need to do to achieve the change we urgently need?

The current climate finance landscape remains incredibly difficult for local actors to navigate due to its complexity and high level of intermediation and onerous access. Climate finance is often for short-term projects conceived without meaningful input from communities and success is measured in outcomes and outputs, rather than context-specific solutions that are directed at building the long-term capabilities of in-country institutions.

The climate finance theme examines the roles of different climate finance providers and recipients, establishing principles for how local actors can access better quality funds.

The theme seeks to understand the finance priorities of local actors and how delivery mechanisms can devolve financial decision-making to sub-national levels. The theme further examines issues of transparency and how local actors can hold funds to account.

Innovation for adaptation

How can we build partnerships that prioritise and sustain community-led innovation?

This theme explores how we build partnerships for innovation in adaptation between communities, local government and investors. These partnerships need to deliver adaptation where it is needed, giving communities the confidence and capacity to keep on experimenting and adapting, while bringing in external expertise and reinforcing the effectiveness and power of local government.

It includes radical and disruptive innovations that explore how people use technology, how people and systems are organised, and how they access and use new technologies. Radical or disruptive innovation may be skills, systems or capacity building that address power imbalances or change the nature of access to data, natural resources or new technologies.

While this theme may be the natural home for discussions on the use of digital technology, our interest is in any innovations that affect power and decision-making – the new challenges they present, as well as adaptation opportunities.

Nature-based solutions

How can local communities drive nature-based solutions (NbS) for resilient food systems?

NbS have recently received much attention as an integrated solution to the diverse challenges that societies are facing, including climate change and biodiversity loss. Well-designed NbS can achieve multiple benefits for nature and humans. However, to unleash its full potential, we must redefine the role and value of communities in decision-making – the planning and implementation of adaptation.

In this theme, we explore how local knowledge and action will deliver more resilient local food systems and help protect and restore the ecosystems upon which we all depend.

Responsive policy

How can policy processes be transformed to prioritise local knowledge, lived experience and locally led action?

Integrating lived experiences and learning from local knowledge is a crucial element in the formulation and implementation of inclusive policies that build the resilience of the most vulnerable groups.

This theme discusses best practices, challenges and practical methods and mechanisms for transforming policy to recognise and prioritise local knowledge, lived experience and locally led action.

Youth inclusion

How can we mainstream and scale youth participation so that they can be equal and capable decision makers for community-based adaptation? 

At CBA14, we discussed how institutions can better engage with youth to take advantage of their participation to deliver local level adaptation. Opportunities offered to young people to develop their careers are good for their growth whether these opportunities come as volunteer opportunities or internships. However, these should not be mistaken as examples of youth inclusion.

True inclusivity is where young people are recognised as equal actors and potentially capable in equal measure to decide and act just like everyone else.The youth inclusion track at CBA15 works with youth networks and institutions to explore the trends of inclusive youth engagement in local adaptation projects. We are documenting key factors for success and ascertaining the bottlenecks that inhibit the uptake of existing successful models.

About the organisers

CBA15 is funded by the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, Irish Aid and IIED, and organised with co-hosts the Global Resilience Partnership, CARE and Practical Action, in collaboration with contributing partners Green Africa Youth Organisation, BRAC, the Huariou CommissionIUCN NLAfrican Centre for Trade and Development (ACTADE)GIZ and VSO.


If you have any questions about the event or registration, email us at cbaconference@iied.org.

Was this page useful to you?

Hosted by

Contributing partners