Events for impact
Practical Action’s decades of experience in helping people on the front line of climate change adapt sustainably to the new challenges they face has never been more relevant, nor more necessary. In 2023, we will continue to build on the momentum for change amongst global leaders and the public at international events that address man-made climate change, loss of biodiversity and inequality. We will help to unlock the finance, expertise alliances and action that is needed to address these global challenges.
The triple-threats of climate change, biodiversity loss and inequality are interconnected and continue to disproportionately impact the most vulnerable people in the least developed countries.
Practical Action joined the global effort in 2022 to bring about changes by actively contributing and leading key events in the run-up to COP27. As official observers at COP27, we amplified the voices of the people we work with, and shared what we have learned from those who are already adapting to extreme climate events. We now continue to engage with key stakeholders to prepare for COP28.
There was positive movement from the previous two COP events, but not nearly enough and there is still much more to do, in a closing window of opportunity. However, the world has now arrived at a positive tipping point, in terms of public support and increased momentum for the type of systemic change that is essential.
We will continue to connect with grassroots communities, governments, the private sector, civil society and international organisations to help build cohesive solutions that benefit people and the planet. Together, we will convene, host and engage with high level events that address the needs of communities on the front line of the climate emergency and we will demonstrate that by putting people at the heart of decision making, that a better future is possible.
We’re planning to keep the momentum from 2022 going – look out for Practical Action colleagues hosting, co-hosting or directly engaging in key events across the year. Keep checking this page for more details as they’re confirmed.
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
We’ve been invited to share insights and learning from our innovative faecal-sludge management work with global water and sanitation experts at the joint African Water Association International Congress & Exhibition and the International Faecal Sludge Management Conference in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire this February. The theme, acting for sustainable resource management and access to water and sanitation for all, fits well with our people centred approach to waste and sanitation.
We will present learning from Bangladesh where our ‘Emptier to Entrepreneur’ model is transforming the lives and livelihoods of informal sanitation and waste workers and providing new improved services for 400,000 people. We will also reflect on how we are taking this innovative approach to scale.
Find out more about our urban sanitation work.
Abu Dhabi / Online
Practical Action will be at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the first international sustainability gathering of the year, which will drive global discussion and debate around climate action in the run-up to COP28. Events that our colleagues will attend includes the IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) assembly, which is created to reaffirm the global renewable energy agenda and make more concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition.
Edinburgh Climate Change Institute
The UK Alliance for Disaster Research (UKADR) brings together the UK’s rich and diverse disaster research community. The theme of this year’s conference was Disaster research and innovation at a time of global uncertainty. Practical Action’s Senior Climate and Resilience Expert Dr Mirianna Budimir was on the conference’s opening panel aimed at bridging the fields of research and practice. Together with our partners we shared experiences of developing forecast information for institutional decision makers, co-developing a gender and socially inclusive flood early warning system in Baguio City, Philippines and innovative approaches to flood early warning systems in Nepal.
York, United Kingdom
Practical Action attended The Winter Village at York Minster.
The Winter Village brings the best of both location and local produce to this brand new event. Situated at the foot of the majestic South Door of York Minster, The Winter Village comprises several decorative wooden cabins offering food, drinks, gifts and the perfect place to sit and admire the view.
A visit to our hut showed you what Practical Action is all about and that there is still reason to be positive when discussing climate change. We chatted to visitors about how people at the sharp end are already adapting their lives, with hands-on activities that bring our solutions to life. We also had cards and opportunities to spread some festive cheer.
The Off-Grid Expo + Conference is a unique, international event for those interested in off-grid solar, wind and hydropower looking for contacts and hungry for knowledge. The event focuses on the practical exchange of experience and know-how, which is ensured by a varied, interactive, and entertaining program. This includes a trade fair showcasing innovative off-grid products and solutions; a conference with presentations on key energy access topics (such as the impact of Covid-19 on the off-grid sector, productive energy uses, and energy storage for rural electrification); and a matchmaking and networking event for conference participants.
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt / Online
COP27 (27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)) was the final key moment of 2022. The focus was building on the progress made at COP26 by increasing the ambition of countries’ commitments to tackling climate change, ensuring a rapid scale up of resources to tackle the emergency in the poorest countries and ensuring this reaches the people and communities already hit hardest by climate change.
The Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo is the premier meeting of the off-grid solar sector providing a unique platform for knowledge exchange, networking and showcasing off-grid solar products and services. The event aims to accelerate the development of the global off-grid solar market to support the achievement of universal energy access by 2030. This year, the event will also expand its focus by considering the role of off-grid solar energy in other sectors including in addressing climate change.
The Clean Cooking Forum 2022 will convene policymakers, entrepreneurs, investors, donors, and other key energy access stakeholder to pave the way for much needed action on clean cooking. The event will feature an interactive plenary and breakout discussions, Business-to-Business matchmaking, and an Innovation Expo showcasing the latest developments in clean cooking. Forum sessions will explore critical topics such as creative financing and investment opportunities; emerging business models; enabling policies; new technologies and innovative approaches; and strategies to strengthen the inclusion of women throughout the clean cooking value chain.
This conference explored how we can drive solutions and consider best practice for addressing losses and damages and build a community of practitioners.
The Scottish Government, in collaboration with the High-Level Champions team and the Global Resilience Partnership, aimed to reach across the international community and to bring together all those with valuable experience, evidence and expertise in this field, from the international to community levels.
Colin McQuistan (our Head of Climate Resilience) lead a talk on day 2, “How to mobilise finance to reach the communities the most” – discussing Loss and Damage, and how we need to take practical action.
The Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience holds an annual conference, which runs in conjunction with the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.
This year, the conference theme tackles the vital issue of what governments and institutions need to do before and after disasters.
Practical Action’s Colin McQuistan (Head of Climate Resilience) gave a keynote lecture on Day 2 discussing resilience Early Warning Systems and how Practical Action integrates these ingenious solutions into reality.
ExCeL London and Online
Practical Action will be attending New Scientist Live!
A visit to our stand will show you that there is still reason to be positive when discussing climate change – find out how people at the sharp end are already adapting their lives by taking part in hands-on activities that bring our solutions to life.
Chat with our staff about our experiences working in extreme environments worldwide, and pick up tips for living more sustainably, inspired by climate pioneers who live on the front line of climate change.
Colin McQuistan (Head of Climate Resilience here at Practical Action) joins a discussion presenting current examples of the real threats of climate-induced health loss and damage, and its impacts on communities and countries.
The discussion explores means of predicting, limiting, or preventing health losses and damages, and the role of health professionals in responding to climate disasters.
Finally, the discussion covers how the UNFCCC Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss & Damage should best account for health losses and damages, and why finance for Loss & Damage is essential for health measures for impacted communities.
CBA16 brought together practitioners, grassroots representatives, local and national government planners, policymakers and donors working at all levels and scales to discuss how we put the principles for locally led adaptation into practice.
Practical Action is a co-host of this annual conference aimed at sharing knowledge and experience among those working in and with communities at the frontlines of climate change. As an organisation committed to supporting locally led climate adaptation we enjoyed the opportunity to share our experience and learn from others over these two days. In partnership with ICCAD, Centre for Natural Resources Studies (CNRS) and Centre for Climate Justice- Bangladesh (CCJ-B) we hosted an event looking at the role locally led adaptation can play in solving conflicts over natural resources.
TEDxFiesole was the stage for discussing how we can realize our future’s potential by putting people at the centre of concern in all these areas. The event looked at the extraordinary possibilities in sustainability, clean energy, social entrepreneurship, climate and sustainable finance, new technologies, new mindsets, with an attitude of renewed humanism, for people and the planet. Our CEO Sarah Roberts spoke at TEDxFiesole, highlighting the opportunities for people-led solutions for those living on the front line of climate change and how we transition to a world that works better for everyone.
Online and in Stockholm, Sweden
World Water Week 2022 explored the value of water in tackling some of the world’s toughest problems. We were proud to bring our experience from sustainable, people-centred approaches to the challenges of waste management and water resilience in vulnerable communities.
We brought our experience and expertise from our work into two events at the conference – the first online session explored the opportunities to unlock significant and sustainable benefits across the sanitation chain in Bangladesh while the second hybrid session focussed on broad water security solutions that are more than just boreholes. We also took part in the Communication Accelerator, where we highlighted the importance of effective communication on water issues and how to build resilience against disinformation.
Jodrell Bank Observatory, Manchester, United Kingdom
Bluedot Festival 2022 was four unique days of music, science and cosmic culture! As Bluedot’s official charity partner, Practical Action delivered a talk with Leyla Kazim surrounding Sustainable Farming Techniques, whilst our team also hosted educational workshops, our immersive 360° VR Turkana water experience and other family fun activities.
London, United Kingdom / Online
London Climate Action Week is the largest independent climate event in Europe. Every year it brings together climate change experts and communities from across this global city and beyond. In 2022 the focus was on delivering on the promises made at COP26 in Glasgow last year. Practical Action seized this opportunity to put the people we work with on the frontlines of the climate crisis at the centre of climate action.
We hosted or contributed to events on the topics of locally led adaptation and climate justice, you can find the recordings of these on our dedicated LCAW page.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda was used as a setting for Practical Action to announce their collaboration with WaterAid, WRI and the Prince’s Foundation to accelerate action and financing to achieve climate and water resilient cities. We will act jointly to bring together the partnerships and financing to deliver, with city leaders, the urgent action required, initially focusing on the fast-growing urban areas in Africa.
The 56th session of the Subsidiary Bodies of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (SB56), was an opportunity for decision makers to make progress towards the action needed at COP27.
Practical Action is an accredited observer under the UNFCCC process. Our colleagues were in Bonn to observe the negotiations and to share our experience and expertise with others who share our ambitions to put those most vulnerable to a changing climate at the centre of climate action.
On Tuesday 14th June we co-hosting the official side event Ensuring the Santiago Network is fit for purpose together with IIED. You can find a recording of this event on the UN Climate Change YouTube channel. Explore the two policy papers related to this event that Practical Action has co-authored:
Vienna, Austria / Online
SHEAR’s cutting-edge research aimed to enhance the quality, availability and use of risk information and early warning systems. As the programme draws to a close, we will be attending the European Geosciences Union (EGU) annual meeting in person for the first time since 2019. EGU is the leading organisation for Earth, planetary and space science research in Europe, and we’ll be sharing key learning outcomes from the last five years about connecting science to urgent humanitarian needs.
Practical Action Consulting has been working alongside a range of partners in the Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) programme since 2016, which has carried out innovative research, in some of the most hazard-prone parts of the world, to better understand and forecast disasters, and minimize the risk they pose to vulnerable communities.
The bi-annual Global Platform is hosted by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and is the recognised forum for reviewing progress towards the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. It is also an opportunity for decision makers and disaster risk reduction experts to share knowledge, discuss the latest developments in the field, and identify challenges and opportunities for a more resilient future.
Disaster Risk Reduction specialists from Practical Action are sharing our experience and expertise at the Global Platform, particularly on community centred early warning systems and how we can work with nature-based solutions to reduce the impact of floods.
Kigali, Rwanda / Online
The 2022 SEforALL Forum is the landmark global gathering bringing people together to take stock of progress, showcase success and identify solutions to achieve faster, broader gains towards sustainable energy for all. It serves as a platform to broker new partnerships, spur investment, address challenges and drive action towards realizing SDG7, to end energy poverty and advance a just energy transition in every corner of the world. Delayed for over two years due to Covid-19, this year’s event will be pivotal in accelerating action. Practical Action’s energy experts will be attending, and co-hosting a key session.
Practical Action are proud to be an Official Collaborating Partner of MSS2022, a leading industry event that convenes market systems thought-leaders and change-makers from all over the world. This highly engaging, virtual platform will enable dialogue and debate, and identify collaborative actions. Practical Action will be convening key stakeholders to identify how market systems can bring positive change at scale for communities impacted by climate change and sharing knowledge on our unique approach of Participatory Market Systems Development (PMSD).
Kigali, Rwanda / Online
Practical Action are proud to co-host the second Humanitarian Energy Conference (HEC), together with NORCAP (The Norwegain Refugee Council) and GPA (the Global Platform for Action on Sustainable Energy in Displacement Settings). The conference will bring together experts from across the energy and humanitarian sectors, to take stock of progress on humanitarian energy through critical and informative discussions on achievements and lessons learned. Practical Action’s energy experts will be attending, and showcasing solutions that work in three key sessions.
This was one of a series of regional climate weeks organised by the UNFCCC. It provided a platform for Governments, INGOs, private companies and financial institutions to enhance climate action by discussing challenges, opportunities and through highlighting effective solutions. Members of our Sudan team attended MENA to showcase the impact of our work in Darfur. We demonstrated how it is possible to help people adapt to a changing climate and even reverse desertification with the right approach, and we called upon donors, the private sector and civil society to work with us to take it to scale.
To find out more about our climate change adaptation work in Darfur, click here and here for a brief on our work in Community-based land and water management for adaptation at scale in Sudan.
London, UK / Online
Starting in 2017, working with refugees and host communities in Rwanda and Jordan, Renewable Energy for Refugees (RE4R) has provided energy access to improve their quality of life, build livelihoods and strengthen their economic independence. Delivered in partnership between Practical Action and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, supported by the IKEA Foundation and in collaboration with Chatham House, Energy4Impact, and the Norwegian Refugee Council, Re4R has helped refugees and the communities that host them access the energy they need to power their homes, businesses and communities.
To mark the end of the project, a final conference is being held at Chatham House in London, UK. The conference will bring together leading experts from the humanitarian community, donors and companies to discuss the successes and lessons learned over the past five years, overall progress within the sector and how the transformative power of energy can reshape the humanitarian response.
The focus of this conference was on increasing the ambition of countries’ commitments to tackling climate change, ensuring a rapid scale up of resources to tackle the emergency in the poorest countries and ensuring this reaches the people and communities already hit hardest by climate change.
Kunming, China / Online
This conference focused on increasing the ambition of countries’ commitments to tackle the triple emergency of climate change, inequality and loss of biodiversity.
New Dehli, India/Online
This conference was organised by TERI. Practical Action shared our experience from South Asia, highlighting how community centric nature based solutions can build climate resilience.
This was a multi-session event that aimed to accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture, in partnership with IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative.
The first session of the week was “Informal sanitation workers and city-wide services”. The second session was “Climate-resilient farming through solar technology … barriers to scale?” This discussed how solar powered irrigation can help smallholder farmers adapt to their new climate reality and what barriers prevent taking this work to scale.
The first event of the week was in partnership with WWF International and Oxford University exploring the significance of Non-Economic Loss and Damage. The second event was in partnership with Action Aid, Christian Aid and Stamp Out Poverty, which highlighted the need to invest in the planet and how to do this via a new global social contract.
This conference demonstrated the importance of engaging with communities and highlighted the impact a people-focused “bottom-up” approach to development can have.