About the Forum [2018]

Advancing Adaptation Throughout California

The biennial California Adaptation Forum gathers the adaptation community to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to create resilient communities throughout the state. The Forum offers a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, networking opportunities, workshops, and tours to support our transition from adaptation awareness and planning to action.

From the near disaster at the Oroville dam to devastating wildfires, 2017 will be one for the record books and a reminder for our urgent need to address the many climate impacts affecting community members, local economies, and valuable ecosystems throughout California. The 3rd California Adaptation Forum brought together a multi-disciplinary audience to:

  • Address current challenges and emerging trends in climate resilience work – from politics to extreme weather events to technological advancements and socioeconomic factors,
  • Set the stage for a post-Brown climate agenda through agency and stakeholder discussions,
  • Provide hands-on access to the latest tools and resources being deployed across the state,
  • Showcase real-world examples of strategies that have increased community resilience,
  • Highlight the latest financing and funding strategies, and
  • Give participants an up-close review of the latest research on climate impacts and solutions from the 4th Climate Assessment.

Forum History

The Local Government Commission and the State of California organized the first California Adaptation Forum on August 19-20, 2014 in Sacramento. The 2014 Forum launched the statewide adaptation conversation by bringing together 800 local, regional and state leaders to form a community of action, committed to addressing California’s adaptation needs. The program featured cutting-edge policies, projects, programs and partnerships, as well as tools and strategies that address the challenges community leaders face in developing and implementing adaptation solutions.

The 2016 Forum followed up on the success of the 1st California Adaptation Forum and brought together over 500 climate change adaptation leaders from across California, the nation, and other countries. This gathering provided an opportunity for leaders from across the state to share information, discuss local activities and needs, identify new resources, and develop a statewide network of adaptation professionals.

The 2018 Forum took place August 27th-29th in Sacramento, and brought together nearly 800 leaders and practitioners over the course of three days to learn, share, and network with one another. The 2018 Forum elevated three core priorities: Embracing Change to Catalyze Innovation, Uplifting Underrepresented Voices, and Taking a Whole Systems Approach. The program, delivered by over 280 speakers, included 3 plenaries, 13 workshops, 40 sessions, 8 tool demonstrations, 5 tours, 10 networking events, and climate art installations. The Forum also served as a launchpad for sharing findings from California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment.

Engaging a Multi-Disciplinary Audience

A significant factor in this event’s success is its appeal to leaders from a diverse range of sectors and disciplines. The audience will include elected officials, public and private sector leaders, tribal representatives,  nonprofits, community members and organizations, and researchers from a range of sectors.

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    Air Quality
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    Biodiversity and Habitat Conservation
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    Equity and Justice
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    Emergency Management
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    Ocean and Coastal Management
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    Planning and Urban Design
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    Public Health
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Every session I went to felt entirely worth the time and effort to be there. I greatly appreciated the focus on equity and diverse leadership and community-driven solutions. I also appreciated the substantive talks on moving from planning to implementation.

I thought the forum was great. Everyone I met was positive and encouraging. At no time, did I feel that things were hopeless, but the opposite, it gave me hope to see so many knowledgable, interested and passionate people. The networking was invaluable.

This was an excellent chance to think outside of my environmental sector and better recognize that there are many sectors (transportation, housing, etc.) facing similar issues and that we will need to work together collaboratively and learn from each other to implement climate adaptation that best serves Californians.

I enjoyed the variation of leaders that spoke about their different methods. It is refreshing to hear from areas and people who are often considered to be against the idea of climate change come back with helpful solutions and practices.

Past Forum Participants