Adaptation Futures 2018 takes place from 18-21 June 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. Adaptation Futures is the biennial conference of the Global Programme of Research on Climate Change Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation (PROVIA). It is the premiere international climate change adaptation conference where people from countries around the world go to connect, learn and inspire!

Adaptation Futures 2018 provides an opportunity for international networking and dialogue with more than 1000 participants from academia, government, civil society and business, all aiming to take climate adaptation forward. Adaptation Futures 2018 aims to use our setting on the African continent to attract more African and Global South delegates than ever before to the conference and forefront developing country adaptation contexts.

Adaptation Futures 2018 aims to:

  • Facilitate dialogue between research and government, civil society, international agencies and business
  • Continue the shift from problem diagnosis to solutions and innovations
  • Link adaptation action to sustainable development, investment and planning
  • Have a strong focus on Africa and the Global South
  • Provide attendance grants for delegates from developing countries
  • Encourage the participation of early career researchers and practitioners
  • Offer a variety of plenary and parallel sessions, round tables and side events
  • Offer a vibrant Adaptation Expo

The conference will bring together diverse actors working in climate adaptation to learn from and stimulate each other in what they do and how they do it: academic and applied researchers, professionals in consulting and other roles, policymakers and managers, civil society, business, those working in international bodies and multilateral bodies.


Adaptation Futures 2018 – Dialogues for Solutions – aims to progress discussion and learning within the adaptation community on how to move from problem diagnosis to successful implementation.  What is the community learning about making adaptation work, at different spatial, institutional and time scales, in different geographies, and in different political and economic settings? What are we learning from mistakes, unexpected outcomes and outright failure, as well as our successes?  How does adaption support successful development, and when does it not?

Adaptation Futures 2018 will take advantage of its location in Africa to stimulate critical Southern perspectives on adaptation to inform regional and global policy, practice and research, and to increase the focus on the links between adaptation and sustainable development.

While contributions from all domains of climate adaptation are welcome, AF2018 is especially interested in exploring the following themes:

Adaptation and development

How can adaptation lead better development outcomes? In what ways do development processes prevent and enhance adaptation outcomes? How does adaptation contribute to the achievement of the SDGs?  And what are the implications of maladaptation? How can we move adaption discourse and practice into National Development Plans and other development processes?

South-South and South-North knowledge and learning

How does a Southern perspective change the global framing of adaptation and development?  Are there critiques of Northern approaches to adaptation in research, funding, and practice?  How do we enhance South-South collaboration; what successes point the way to do this?

Interaction of climate adaptation with 21st century challenges

How can adaptation thinking be brought into debates and practice around food, water and energy security?  What are the solutions for reducing climate risks in the face of rapid urbanisation?  What are the implications of migration in the context of climate change and other drivers?

Modes of collaboration, knowledge co-production and research into use

What are we learning from transdisciplinary and engaged research processes?  How do we maximise the uptake of evidence from research and innovations into policy and practice?  How do we “go the last mile” – from good research, good policy, great ideas to implementation on the ground that leads to real change, for many?

Financing of adaptation and climate resilient development

What are we learning from the new global, regional and national funding mechanisms, such as the Adaptation and Green Climate Funds?  Where are the examples of “transformative” projects that the GCF seeks to fund?  What might transformative adaptation look like? How do we measure and value adaptation?

Learning from doing

What works and has not worked at different scales, from regional, to national, to local and community?  What needs to be in place (enablers) and be circumvented (barriers) to maximise the chances of success in different adaptation settings? How do we improve the way learning occurs so that acknowledgement of failure or partial success is valued? How do we implement adaptation across complex social, cultural and political-economic systems?

Adaptation Futures 2018 builds on the legacy and key messages that emerged from the previous conferences.

4 Key Messages from Adaptation Futures 2016

  1. The adaptation community should remain dynamic, learn from other communities and develop synergies. It is key to connect scholars with policy-makers and practitioners, focusing on solutions.
  2. Innovation is essential for adaptation. The adaptation community needs innovative research on new ideas, products and services, as well as social issues, and how business and stakeholders can work together in new ways.
  3. Stakeholder collaboration with respect, trust and equity is essential. Connecting different groups will not in itself lead to climate adaptation, but increasing collaboration between different stakeholders will  contribute significantly to a more resilient future.
  4. Business can contribute to adaptation solutions. Although there is a gap in terminology and priorities between academia and business, companies are feeling the impacts of climate change and can contribute to adaptation solutions.

Source: Peter Casier (CGIAR/CCAFS)


Aldo Stroebel

Aldo Stroebel

National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa
Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell

CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
Georgina Cundill Kemp

Georgina Cundill Kemp

International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
Jean Palutikof

Jean Palutikof

National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), Griffith University, Australia
John Donaldson

John Donaldson

South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), South Africa
Jon Padgham

Jon Padgham

global change System for Analysis, Research and Training (START) International
Mark New

Mark New

African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), University of Cape Town, South Africa
Saleemul Huq

Saleemul Huq

International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Bangladesh
Sean Khan

Sean Khan

Science Division, United Nations Environment (UNEP)
Vhali Khavhagali

Vhali Khavhagali

Department of Environment Affairs (DEA), South Africa


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