As Executive Director and co-founder of the Mangrove Action Project, Alfredo Quarto’s work focuses on mangrove forest protection and aquaculture sustainability. He consulted on and is featured in the Biodiversity Exhibit at The American Museum of Natural History, and he has been widely cited for spotlighting the clearing of mangrove forests as an important factor in the devastation wrought by the 2004 Asian tsunami.
Quarto has authored or co-authored numerous articles for Science, Biodiversity Journal, International Fisheries Law and Policy Review, Earth Island Journal, and other publications focusing on mangrove forest ecology, mangrove deforestation caused by shrimp aquaculture, and community-managed sustainable development. He also authored a chapter on Local Community Involvement in Mangrove Rehabilitation for the book An International Perspective on Wetland Rehabilitation.
He has spoken in twenty countries on five continents and shared his expertise at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the UNESCO conference on mangrove conservation in Southeast Asia, the Global Biodiversity Forum, meetings of the Ramsar Convention on world wetland preservation, and the World Social Forum in Brazil.
Prior to founding the Mangrove Action Project, Quarto conceived and directed the Ancient Forest Chautauqua, a 30-city touring forum on ancient forests and indigenous peoples, co-founded the Freedom Fund for human rights, conducted five major international speaking tours for the Freedom Fund, and worked for Greenpeace.
Quarto speaks on the importance of saving the world’s mangrove forests and swamps. He focuses on the value of mangroves to fish, indigenous fishermen, migratory birds, coral reefs, endangered species, and water quality, and he describes the role of these forests in preventing coastal erosion and flooding in the face of both sea level rise and stronger hurricanes. He explains the accelerating conversion of coastal wetlands to environmentally destructive industrial scale shrimp farms. In addition to their environmental impacts, these farms often overuse antibiotics and pesticides and as a consequence produce shrimp unsafe for human consumption.
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