CAF 2021: The Grand Adaptation Challenge

Join California’s adaptation movers, shakers, and leaders
for a newly designed, highly interactive CAF 2021!

The 2021 California Adaptation Forum (CAF), hosted by the Local Government Commission, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, will be organized as a 5-month virtual series, from June to October 2021.

We have seen considerable progress in communities throughout California—deepening our understanding of climate risks and vulnerabilities, identifying effective adaptation strategies and pathways, and implementing real, on-the-ground projects to build community resilience.

However, with the impacts of climate change worsening, causing disproportionate harm to our most marginalized communities, adaptation progress must accelerate to meet the urgency of the crisis at hand. Through collaboration, creativity, and mutual support, we know that we can rise to this challenge.

We’re trying something new this year—in addition to informative and engaging presentations, we will be organizing a series of interactive workshops for each track to identify action-oriented solutions that address key challenges faced by California’s adaptation community.

With this series, we hope to bring together community leaders, practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and thought leaders to connect, collaborate, and determine our shared path forward to create a more resilient and equitable tomorrow. We hope you will join us! 


The 2021 California Adaptation Forum is being organized as a 5-month virtual series, taking place June – October. In addition to organizing informative webinars, CAF 2021 is designed to be highly interactive to engage participants through track-based workshops that aim to explore solutions to common adaptation challenges.

CAF 2021 Kickoff Plenary

Thursday, June 24th • 8:30-10:00am

Advancing Equitable Adaptation Track
Track Kickoff Webinar

Mon, July 12 • 1:00-2:30pm

Track Workshop 1

Tues, July 27 • 10:00am-12:00pm

Track Workshop 2

Mon, Aug 16 • 10:00am-12:00pm

Track Workshop 3

Mon, Sept 27 • 10:00am-12:00pm

Track Outcomes Webinar

Mon, Oct 18 • 2:00-3:30pm

Integrated Planning for Holistic Solutions Track
Track Kickoff Webinar

Tues, July 13 • 10:00-11:30am

Track Workshop 1

Thurs, July 29 • 10:00am-12:00pm

Track Workshop 2

Tues, Aug 17 • 1:00-3:00pm

Track Workshop 3

Tues, Sept 28 • 1:00-3:00pm

Track Outcomes Webinar

Tues, Oct 19 • 12:30-2:00pm

Catalyzing Meaningful Adaptation Action Track
Track Kickoff Webinar

Wed, July 14 • 9:30-11:00am

Track Workshop 1

Mon, July 26 • 10:00am-12:00pm

Track Workshop 2

Thurs, Aug 19 • 9:00-11:00am

Track Workshop 3

Thurs, Sept 30 • 1:00-3:00pm

Track Outcomes Webinar

Thurs, Oct 21 • 9:30-11:00am

CAF 2021 Closing Plenary

Thurs, Oct 28 • 1:00-3:30pm


The 2021 California Adaptation Forum will feature three cross-cutting tracks, each of which will feature a kickoff webinar, three interactive workshops, and a final outcomes webinar.

Advancing Equitable Adaptation

Thanks to the dedication of long-time environmental justice leaders and communities, calls for equitable and inclusive adaptation planning, decision-making, and implementation now reverberate throughout the adaptation community. Their calls are clear: Honor our inherent resilience and lived experiences. Authentically involve frontline communities in decision-making. Work in partnership with communities to dismantle unjust systems.

This track will focus on how to build momentum for equitable adaptation in ways that drive systemic change and deliver tangible benefits to historically under-served, under-represented, and under-invested communities.

Key challenge questions may include: How have communities worked to spearhead neighborhood-level climate resilience initiatives? How should decision-makers invest in and support California’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities to build climate resilience in ways that address historic and ongoing inequities? How can we ensure a just and resilient transition? What organizational changes would best support equitable community resilience?

Integrated Planning for Holistic Solutions

The cascading and compounding impacts of climate change – from extreme heat, drought and wildfire to flooding and sea level rise – affect every segment of society. While our communities, ecosystems, built infrastructure, and economy all face threats, climate change disproportionately affects frontline communities and exacerbates existing inequities. The intersectionality of these challenges requires integrated solutions to address deficiencies in our systems, such as transportation, energy, public health, agriculture, water, emergency services, and communications..

This track will focus on frameworks for integrated planning that consider the full spectrum of climate impacts and sectors to deliver holistic solutions that address climate risks and vulnerabilities while meeting community needs.

Key challenge questions may include: How can we better prepare for near-term disasters while building adaptive capacity for long-term climatic changes? How should planners address uncertainty and the compounding and cascading impacts of climate change? How do we balance the need to build more affordable housing amid increased climate risk?

Catalyzing Meaningful Adaptation Action

Local jurisdictions throughout California have been working to understand their climate risks and vulnerabilities, identify adaptation strategies, and develop adaptation plans. While this foundational work must continue to ensure that plans are strategic, aligned, and informed by community and science, communities are experiencing and witnessing climate-fueled disasters at an increasing pace. On-the-ground action and projects are urgently needed – across the entire state – to build the resilience of our communities, infrastructure, ecosystems, and economy.

This track will focus on opportunities to accelerate the implementation of climate adaptation strategies by tapping into existing assets, leveraging the power of partnerships, and unlocking new pathways for ongoing investment.

Key challenge questions may include: What early investments will enable long-term resilience building? How do we translate broad adaptation strategies into specific project requirements and metrics? How can we use public policy and public dollars to encourage private markets to build resilient communities? How do we finance landscape-scale adaptation solutions? How should public agencies and communities integrate adaptation solutions into capital improvement plans?

Register for The Grand Adaptation Challenge!

Join climate leaders from across the state for an engaging and newly imagined California Adaptation Forum, taking place virtually June-October 2021. This year, we’re combining keynotes, informative webinars, and interactive workshops to address key climate challenges faced by California’s communities and adaptation practitioners. We hope you can join us!