About

Advancing Adaptation Throughout California

The California Adaptation Forum (CAF) is a biennial conference hosted by CivicWell, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, offering a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, networking opportunities, workshops, and tours to support our transition from adaptation awareness and planning to action. CAF aims to gather California’s adaptation community to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to accelerate climate adaptation efforts and create equitable and resilient communities throughout the state.

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.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the in person 2020 California Adaptation was postponed. During 2020, in partnership with Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA) CAF held a 3-part webinar series that engaged 1400 leaders and practitioners from across the state.

CAF 2021 focused on The Grand Adaptation Challenge, aimed at exploring solutions to common challenges faced by California’s adaptation community. This 5-month virtual series, taking place June to October 2021, featured three cross-cutting tracks: 1) Advancing Equitable Adaptation, 2) Integrated Planning for Holistic Solutions, and 3) Catalyzing Meaningful Adaptation Action. Hundreds of adaptation practitioners tuned into informative webinars and engaged in interactive workshops to connect, brainstorm, and identify action-oriented solutions.

Engaging a Multi-Disciplinary Audience

A significant factor in the success of the California Adaptation Forum is its appeal to leaders from a diverse range of sectors and disciplines. As with previous forums, we anticipate our 2023 audience will include local, regional, state, Tribal, and federal agency staff and officials, community-based organizations and nonprofits, academic institutions and researchers, and consultants and private sector leaders working in and across a range of issue areas.

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    Air Quality
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    Agriculture
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    Biodiversity and Habitat Conservation
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    Forestry
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    Equity and Justice
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    Emergency Management
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    Energy
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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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    Transportation
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    Water