Putting local communities at the heart of decision-making and finance to build climate resilience

Locally led adaptation is critical for climate adaptation and resilience

Local communities are on the frontlines of climate change impacts, yet rarely do they have a voice in the decisions that affect them. Climate change is set to push 130 million more people below the poverty line by 2030 and less than $1 in every $10 of global climate finance is dedicated to local level action at present. Governments are failing to get money to where it is needed most.

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View the AAC Locally Led Adaptation Workstream IPCC Factsheet

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Local communities are often best placed to identify the climate solutions that they need and should have the power to influence decision-making and resource allocation to ensure that investments reflect their priorities. We need to shift the status quo from current top-down approaches to a new model where local actors have the power and resources to build climate resilience.

Locally led adaptation initiatives to deliver a climate resilient world

The AAC Locally Led Adaptation (LLA) Workstream is working to bring community-based solutions to the attention of governments and mainstream local knowledge and expertise in climate discussions and finance. The LLA Workstream is, coordinated by the World Resources Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in collaboration with Centro para la Autonomía y Desarollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CADPI), the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), ENDA, Huairou Commission, the International Institute for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Save the Children Australia, Slum Dwellers International (SDI), and SouthSouthNorth.

Launched at the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit, the Global Commission on Adaptation set out eight principles for strengthening locally led action. These principles provide a guide on changing top-down approaches, to a model that redresses power imbalances and ensures local communities and organizations can decide how climate finance is used.

Over 75 organizations and several governments have endorsed the principles, committing to strengthening locally led solutions. The United Kingdom, Nepal, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands and the United States are among the government who have endorsed the principles.

The LLA workstream is focused on how to leverage these principles to secure finance at a greater scope and volume, to reach local actors and support local priorities. They have organized regional dialogues to showcase locally led adaptation and allow for state, non-state actors and organizations to learn from each other. Recordings of the regional dialogues are available to watch online.

The LLA Community of Practice (CoP) also falls under the AAC’s LLA Workstream. The LLA CoP includes over 75 organizations and supports international coordination and knowledge exchange on locally led adaptation action.

Locally Led Adaptation Champions

Governments around the world are increasingly recognizing the importance of supporting locally led adaptation in their countries. Here are a few examples:


The Local Adaptation Plans of Actions (LAPA) in Nepal is a community-led, multi-stakeholder climate action planning process that puts communities and local governments at the center of local adaptation planning. The LAPA initiatives assist local governments and communities in driving collective climate action.


Kenya’s Country Climate Change Funds Fund is a mechanism through which counties can create, access, and use climate finance from different sources to build community resilience through projects identified and prioritized by local communities.

Looking ahead to COP27

COP26 was a pivotal moment in the growing global movement for locally led adaptation. The workstream developed a set of demands on locally led adaptation for implementing high-integrity, local solutions that have climate justice at the heart.

This year sees adaptation events including the Gobeshona Global Conference and COP27. Around these moments, the LLA workstream will be focused on transforming commitments into actions from governments, to unlock tangible funding and implement policy.

The workstream will seek further endorsement for the eight principles from governments and organizations, as well as working with governments, funders and local partners to replicate and scale locally led adaptation projects, and build an evidence base for global learning. The workstream will also focus more broadly on the need to deepen and follow through on commitments to LLA, learn from ongoing efforts and deliver a power shift for equitable resilience.



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Countries involved in the workstream:

  • Costa Rica
  • Denmark
  • Nepal
  • The Netherlands
  • United States of America


If you're interested in learning more or getting involved with the LLA workstream, contact Tamara Coger and Clare Shakya.


Cover image credit: UNDP Climate Flickr


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