Global Center on Adaptation launches Local Adaptation Champions Awards

Over 3 billion people already face climate change life-threatening impacts, among them increased heat waves, droughts, and floods. As the impacts of climate change become more and more part of our everyday reality, it is imperative that we urgently provide vulnerable communities at the frontlines with the resources they need to design and implement locally appropriate adaptation solutions. To do so, we must speed up and consolidate our own learning on the most effective and efficient ways to channel this support to where it is most needed. There have been many successes in supporting locally led action, including from wider development efforts, but we don’t always hear about them, or learn from them.

The GCA Local Adaptation Champions Awards aim to spotlight and recognize locally-led resilience building efforts, to inspire similar action elsewhere, and to scale up locally-led adaptation efforts to make them mainstream. Local determination of the best possible solutions to deal with localized climate impacts should be the norm rather than the exception. It is the only way to be efficient in addressing the existential crisis of climate change in a resource-constrained world. If local priorities are not heard and addressed while designing adaptation interventions, we are wasting precious resources. If local governments and communities are not in the driving seat, the chances are that efforts will not be targeted, and the outcomes will not be sustainable because they will lack local ownership. We have learnt these lessons the hard way through decades of development efforts. It is important not to start reinventing the wheel when we don’t have the luxury of time.

The  experience in implementing locally-led approaches to adaptation, which we hope the applicants  will share with the team  through your applications, will inform the efforts of GCA’s Global Hub on Locally Led Adaptation (LLA) to scale up LLA. And we hope it will inform and inspire the adaptation efforts of other local practitioners who may benefit from a similar approach: in addition to the cash Awards, we will document and publicize the efforts of the four winners, including through our LLA Knowledge Platform which is currently being developed.

The winners will be selected by a prestigious Jury and receive their Awards at a ceremony during COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The Awards are open to any individual, organization or group of partners worldwide, who are in the process of implementing climate change adaptation/resilience solutions that follow one of the eight principles for locally led adaptation.

Categories of the Award:

Inclusive leadership

Interventions in this category are inclusive by design and truly owned by the communities in which they have been implemented. They have been designed, built and managed with and by the people who will benefit from them the most, and have sought contributions from those members of the community who are often excluded from local decision-making processes due to their gender, race, language, ethnicity, religious practices, sexual orientation, disability or any other reason.

Financial governance

This category focuses on rewarding initiatives whose scope was to design innovative financial mechanisms that allow local communities to access and manage adaptation funds in ways that best fit local needs, priorities, and evolving contexts. The mechanism displays strong flexibility and may build on intergovernmental and public-private partnerships or alliances.

Knowledge and capacity

Interventions in this category are designed to strengthen local knowledge and skills related to climate change adaptation, climate finance or locally led adaptation principles in ways that enable local actors to autonomously continue building their knowledge and share their skills over time. Interventions which contribute to knowledge sharing and building the evidence case for locally led adaptation can also apply for this category.

Local innovation

This category rewards local solutions or technologies – physical or digital – that minimise the immediate and long-term impacts of climate change on people in the community, in particular those most vulnerable. The solution presented may be an existing solution creatively applied to climate change adaptation, a solution that was never before used in this context, a completely new idea successfully applied or a combination of all of the above.

The call for applications will be open from June 10 to July 10, 2022. The application form and FAQs are available on the GCA website:

You can apply in the language of your choice, provided that you include a transcript or subtitles for your videos in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese. Please bear in mind that text submitted in a language other than those listed above will be machine translated, a process that may entail loss of meaning and inaccuracies.

Also, help us reach local adaptation champions by spreading the word among your networks. You will find the material to share here:

Originally this article was published on August 04, 2022  at Dhaka Tribune

Anju Sharma is working as a LLA Programme Lead at GCA. She can be reached at anju.sharma@gca’