Plenary Speakers

Arturo A. Massol-Deyá    
Arturo Massol

Professor, Department of Biology at the University of Puerto Rico; Associate Director, Casa Pueblo.

Dr. Arturo A. Massol-Deyá is from the mountainous municipality of Adjuntas in Puerto Rico where his parents founded the community-based organization Casa Pueblo. Working to conserve the island’s biodiversity and to protect its critical watersheds from industrial activities such as mining, Casa Pueblo has led the establishment of two community-based protected forest areas - changing the Island's forestry policy and catalyzing an increase of protected areas from 3.7% to 8% of the land area.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, Dr. Massol-Deyá worked together with Casa Pueblo to lead a community response that aimed to change the energy policies of a country that is dependent on fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy sources. Serving as an energy oasis, providing energy and equipment to those in need following the hurricane, the initiative demonstrates how community-based resource management can end reliance on fossil fuels while conserving natural resources and fulfilling its global responsibility to mitigate global warming and social inequalities.