Climate change is affecting some of the most fragile and essential ecosystems of the planet. Glacier retreat in the mountains is changing water availability for everyone downstream, while islands are sinking due to sea level rise. Mountains and islands are home to 1.3 billion people and they appear like paradises – yet, their inhabitants are among the worst hit, suffering from high rates of poverty and hunger and struggling to cope with climate-change-induced disasters. As the world engages in climate action, we see the need to collaborate on measurable and action-oriented solutions for islands and mountains.
The Coalition for Fragile Ecosystems (COFE) is a new global alliance of vulnerable communities living in fragile ecosystems that advocates globally for the protection of mountain and island ecosystems and the resilience of their populations.
Founded in 2017 by the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and the Mountain Partnership (MP) during the fifth MP Global Meeting in Rome, and the financial support of the Italian Development Cooperation, COFE is a mechanism intended to speed up progress on the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in fragile ecosystems by raising global attention and prompting tangible commitments and activities.
This alliance builds up on the strong network of the MP and GLISPA, which is represented in over 100 countries and includes more than 60 governments and 330 major groups as partners. The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, a government agency under the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT), is one of key founding partners of COFE and is spearheading the organization of the Manila Conference to be held 4 to 5 May 2020.
COFE welcomes committed partners and sponsors who support the fragile ecosystems of the world and their sustainable development.
What We Do
Sustainable food and tourism as a pathway for the conservation and use of fragile ecosystems: By 2030, COFE aims to create an international network of fragile ecosystems’ sustainable tourism destinations with sustainable food systems at its heart. The goal is to contribute to improving the livelihoods of the local communities through:
- job creation
- inclusive social integration
- protection of natural and cultural heritage
- biodiversity conservation
The COFE works with small-holder farmers, cooperatives, businesses, tour operators and institutions promoting sustainable tourism – focusing on preserving biodiversity, agrobiodiversity, cultural heritage and local gastronomy.
The first demonstration project of the COFE was launched in collaboration with the Philippine Department of Tourism and Slow Food in the Philippines in 2018. The project connects small-scale producers with tourism service providers, helps promote high-quality mountain products, and allows visitors to discover and support unique biodiversity while safeguarding indigenous foods and boosting the local economy.
"The majority of tourists travel to the Cordillera to visit the Ifugao Rice Terraces, legacy of the Ifugao ethnic group, a minority community that has occupied the mountains for centuries. However, many terraces have been abandoned and deteriorated. The Coalition of Fragile Ecosystems is helping our community to improve local livelihoods in Pasil, Kalinga, by creating a positive connection between the products of our land and ecotourism services”.
Lam-en Gonnay, Unoy Pasil Terraces Association, Philippines
Mountains and islands share common features that make them valuable to the global community:
- high rates of biodiversity
- important tourism destinations
- high quality traditional products, from food to textiles
- diverse cultural values
Combined, these fragile ecosystems make up 30 percent of earth's surface area, and are home to 23 percent of the world’s population.
Coalition of Fragile Ecosystems Conference
We regret to inform you that due to the pandemic threat of novel coronavirus to global health, which is prompting authorities across the world to impose travel restrictions and lockdown, the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines has decided to defer the hosting of the first Global Conference of the Coalition of the Fragile Ecosystems, scheduled on 4-5 May 2020 in Manila, at a date to be determined.
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.