ECCA 2017 covers the full range of topics linked to climate change adaptation, based around 8 cross-cutting themes and 5 sectoral themes.

Cross-cutting themes:
1. Evidence for action: data, climate services & communication
This theme focuses on gathering and using evidence on the impacts and risks of climate change and the need for adaptation. It covers compilation of data on climate impacts and vulnerability; modelling and monitoring of impacts such as sea-level rise and extreme weather (droughts, storms, floods and heatwaves); assessing climate risks to society; and exploring the best way to use this knowledge to protect the public and inform policymakers, including addressing the needs of specific sectors and stakeholders, such as the private sector.
2. Planning ahead: delivering resilience in the face of climate uncertainty
This covers the way in which we can address the risks and uncertainties of climate change by building societies, ecosystems and infrastructure that are resilient to environmental and socio-economic change. It includes risk and uncertainty assessment, scenario development and planning, participatory modelling, and developing transformative adaptation pathways that can cope with a wide range of future conditions. Specific options for improving resilience, such as nature-based solutions or urban planning, are also covered within the sectoral themes.

Business and finance: mobilising investment in climate change adaptation and building low carbon, climate resilient economies

This year, for the first time, ECCA 2017 will feature a separate tailor-made business and innovation programme, to be run in parallel with the first two days of the main conference. This reflects the increasing importance of the business sector in developing and delivering climate ready solutions, as well as the urgency of adapting businesses to be climate ready. It also reinforces the need for business, research, education and public bodies to learn and innovate together about what it takes to create scalable adaptation measures. It will include interactive sessions on risks, opportunities, financing and business solutions in different sectors, as well as an open Innovation event where creative solutions can be presented via a Pitching Stage.

4. Making it happen: organisations, policy, governance, justice & ethics
This is a broad theme covering a wide range of issues around climate change adaptation policy and action aimed at enhancing progress in the pre-2020 period as well as facilitating the implementation of the Paris Agreement requirements. This includes the major themes of governance, climate justice and ethics.
5. Working together: co-production of knowledge between science, business, policy, practice and local communities
This theme aims to encourage interactions between the policy, practice and research communities, including local authorities, government departments, businesses and community groups as well as researchers and consultants. It showcases projects that demonstrate how these groups can work together to co-produce knowledge around climate change adaptation, and it hosts interactive events, debates and workshops designed to encourage this interaction and knowledge exchange at the conference.
6. Adaptation in practice: case studies, monitoring, support tools and guidance
This is where we explore how adaptation can be put into practice. This theme presents tools and guidance for planning, monitoring and assessing adaptation options, including accounting for co-benefits, as well as case studies and evaluations of real-life adaptation projects.
7. Global challenges: climate adaptation and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Climate change adaptation and mitigation are addressed directly in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under SDG 13 (Climate Action) but also have strong links to the other SDGs: poverty, hunger, health, education, gender, water, energy, economy, infrastructure, inequality, cities, consumption, ecosystems, peace, justice and partnerships. This theme will focus on climate change adaptation in the global context, including major issues such as forced migration, disaster risk reduction and health impacts of climate change.
8. Whole system sustainable solutions: acting across multiple sectors and scales
Action that focuses on a single sector such as food, energy, transport, water or biodiversity may have unintended adverse impacts in other areas. Climate action therefore needs to take a holistic view across all sectors, and at multiple scales from the local to the global. This theme covers research, policy and practice that attempts to take this wide view across multiple sectors or scales. It covers action and research aimed at increasing sustainability, which has multiple benefits across a range of sectors. It also covers synergies and trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation.
Sectoral themes:
9. Urban, energy & infrastructure
This theme covers urban planning, transport, energy supply, energy demand management, coastal protection and the built environment. It covers the design, implementation and assessment of options to increase resilience to climate change impacts such as sea-level rise, increased temperatures and extreme weather events, as well as planning for disaster risk reduction in these sectors.
10. Agriculture & forestry
Climate impacts on agriculture and forestry, including impacts on food security and livelihoods, are addressed under this theme, with a focus on practical methods and policy guidelines for making agriculture and forestry more sustainable and more resilient to climate change.
11. Water security & flooding
Water security, like energy and food security, covers the physical amount of water available for use, as well as accessibility, affordability and continuity of supply. It is thus related not just to climate but also to socio-economic factors including governance, pricing and the use of water by different sectors of society. The water sector could be heavily affected by climate change, which can result in either too much water (floods) or too little water (droughts), at different times and in different places. This theme looks at how adaptation to flooding and water shortages can be delivered by working through land management (e.g. catchment management or re-aligning the land-water border), behavioural change (demand management) and technological solutions (e.g. improved water treatment).
12. Biodiversity, ecosystem services & nature-based solutions
Ecosystems play a vital role in offering cost-effective adaptation solutions with multiple benefits for biodiversity, health and wellbeing, and possible mitigation co-benefits. Well-managed and healthy ecosystems can provide flood and erosion protection, urban cooling and clean air and water, as well as storing carbon and thus helping to reduce climate change impacts. Ecosystems also provide cultural services including aesthetic value and places for recreation. This theme addresses these options, covering the topics of green infrastructure, ecosystem services and nature-based solutions, including mechanisms to encourage them such as payment for ecosystem services or result-based payments.
13. Health & wellbeing
Effective climate change adaptation is vital for long term health and wellbeing, through providing food, energy and water security, as well as ensuring labour productivity. This theme provides a venue for work that focusses on the way in which adaptation can address climate impacts on human health and wellbeing, with a view to increasing resilience to disasters, and advancing our understanding of temperature-related death and illness, air quality impacts, impacts of extreme events on human (and animal) health, vector-borne diseases, water-related illnesses, nutrition, mental health and populations of concern.