To increase the visibility of the University’s climate works and activities at the university and community level, The University of the South Pacific recently launched the Climate-U Research Project. The launch also expands the reach and scope of the University’s work in creating awareness and educating our people about climate change.
Deputy Head (Learning, Teaching and Quality) of the School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (SPACE) and the Research Team Lead for Fiji’s Climate-U Research Project, Dr Rosiana Lagi, said the research project uses the Participatory Action Research Approach; therefore, it is participant-centred.
“As such research participants’ work in collaboration with the Research team in identifying climate issues of interest, together they create relevant interventions, then collaboratively implement, monitor, revise and learn from the intervention. In doing so, the participants get to learn through practice and see tangible and non-tangible outcomes of their work. For instance, the benefits of their intervention. This leads to behaviour change amongst participants consequently motivating the community to take responsibility and ownership of their climate works,” she stated.
USP’s work reaches its 12 member countries and its development partners countries as well. More so, this project is implemented in universities in Kenya, Mozambique, Brazil, and the UK. The success of this project will reach the participating countries and with similar needs can learn from them and replicate it.
“Since one of our major activities is the planting of trees – trees are best carbon sinkers. The more trees we plant, the more carbon absorbed therefore preventing the global temperature from rising. Our work is aligned to the Ministry of Forestry’s agenda to plant 30 million trees by 2030 and the Vatutavui community’s need for water and recovery of their terrestrial and marine vegetation and resources,” Dr Lagi said.
Climate-U Research Project launch will transform USP’s curriculum and climate activities consequently changing students’ and communities’ perception and behaviour towards climate change. More so, this research project will create a climate-ready and resilient Pacific.
The launch was followed by a photo exhibition showcasing the work done in Vatutavui in the last four months