At CBA12, Practical Action is working with IIED and its conference partners to lead an ‘adaptation technologies’ workstream, exploring how technologies can be used to enable and enhance the ability of communities to adapt to climate change; increasing their resilience to climate stresses and shocks.

Lilongwe Malawi, 11-14 June: local experience driving climate action

Image of CBA12 conference 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 annual CBA conference provides an opportunity for stakeholders from around the globe to review the latest developments in CBA policy and practice, forge partnerships to bolster momentum around the CBA agenda, and commit to innovative approaches to challenge climate change.

Practical Action and Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change

Practical Action is an active and committed participant in the CBA community. Given the lack of implementation of the ‘adaptation’ component of internationally agreed actions on climate change, this year Practical Action is working with the CBA conference community to develop the evidence and narrative needed to inspire greater and more effective investment in adaptation - especially in developing countries. We believe that:

      • New technology has been an enabler of climate change mitigation - however, adaptation still receives inadequate finance, limited innovation and little success;
      • There is a need for affordable, co-created and long-term solutions for climate change adaptation, with the private sector playing a key role in delivering the additional innovation and resources needed to achieve change at scale;
      • Climate change adaptation innovations and technologies must be accessible and affordable to small-scale, poor and risk-averse farming families in developing countries.

Image of farmer using solar irrigation system to produce food

Adaptation Technologies

At this and future CBA conferences, we are working with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and its conference partners to lead an ‘adaptation technologies’ workstream, asking: how can technologies be used to enable or enhance the ability of communities to adapt to climate change, to increase their resilience to climate stresses and shocks?

By 'technologies', we mean new technologies such as: solar powered irrigation that changes the technological options available to households; or technologies such as ICTs that can influence systems and transform the ways in which rural people can access climate or market information; or technologies that can increase (or reduce) accountability and influence governance and decision making.

Our Senior Policy and Practice Advisor in Agriculture, Chris Henderson, has written a blog on the IIED website which explains more about what we mean by 'adaptation technologies'. Find out more about "Why we need to plug the adaptation technology gap".

Practical Action at CBA12

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    In order to ensure the breadth of experiences and priorities of poor, small-scale farmers are heard at the conference, we will be sharing examples from our own adaptation work including: 

          • How Climate Information Services (CIS) have been used in the Lake Victoria area of Kenya to improve land use planning, and in Bangladesh to address the 'information asymmetry' in agriculture product markets and ensure fair price for the farmers in our working areas;
          • How solar powered irrigation has been used to catalyse adaptation in semi-arid or remote areas of Africa;
          • How participatory plant breeding can be used to explore the potential of using farmer-managed seed systems to improve crop diversity and the ability of farmers to cope with the changing climate, drawing from specific examples in Zimbabwe;
          • How using organic matter value chains can improve soil organic matter and promote adaptation at scale; and
          • How market and climate policy approaches can be used to upscale agroforestry in the tropical hills of the Peruvian Amazon.

    Key Publications


    Coffee Agroforestry: Transforming a vital agricultural sector for a conservation and development ‘win-win’ in Peru

    The objective of this paper is to promote collaboration in policy and planning between business-oriented agriculturalists, conservation-oriented foresters, and climate change-oriented...


    Community based conflict reduction and peace building in Kebkabiya, North Darfur

    This project aimed to increase the adaptive capacity of both agriculturalist and pastoralist communities in Kebakabiya, through cooperative land management planning, conflict resolution, and...


    Scaling up Agroecology Through Market Systems

    To eradicate extreme poverty means focusing on the 500 million smallholders so they can reliably generate more food and income from their agricultural activities. This paper uses the three pillars...


    Summary report of the high-level workshop on scaling up agroecology to achieve the SDGs

    The aim of this workshop was to explore the potential of agroecology to achieve growth, resilience,poverty reduction and food security with a range of development organisations from civil society,...


    Transforming smallholder-private sector relationships to take agro-ecological community based adaptation to scale: agro coffee systems in Peru

    A poster produced for the CBA9 conference which illustrates our community based climate change and adaptation work in Peru.

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