Growing up as a child Anamaria Raicoki Tagicakiverata was always fascinated by how we are interconnected to nature and its ecosystem. However, in a rapidly changing world where it is easy to get distracted by the digital world along with the effects of climate change, the destruction caused by loss and damage to livelihoods, infrastructure and the health as well as the well-being of communities is disheartening.
Anamaria hails from Vutia, Rewa, with maternal ties to Vakabuli village in Ba but was born and raised in Lautoka before moving to Suva for her tertiary education at The University of the South Pacific (USP) in 2016. In 2020, she enrolled in the Postgraduate Diploma in Climate Change, which she completed and graduated last year, 2022, and is currently pursuing a masters in Climate Change at the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD).
Her decision to attend USP to study climate change was not taken lightly.
Anamaria needed time and space to reflect and decide what she wanted to achieve with her life, and the most fruitful reflections sometimes involved the conscious consideration and analysis of beliefs and actions for learning.
For Anamaria, it’s about finding a deeper meaning in life, living up to a legacy, and caring enough about a problem to invest her time, effort, passion, and love in solving it.
Inspired by her grandfather, a retired teacher and a passionate chief or herald spokesperson who worked tirelessly to teach, advocate, and develop plans to protect the community from the negative impacts of rising tides influenced her decision to pursue and study climate change at USP.
“As a young adult, I see climate change as an alarming threat, and urgent action is required because I am concerned about my future. Climate change is causing detrimental impacts across the globe at various scales and the Pacific Island communities being the most vulnerable.”
In the Pacific today many of the islands are low-lying, with atolls or other small islands rising only a few feet above sea level.
The current rate of sea level rise is unprecedented in the last 5,000 years, threatening these low-lying island systems with flooding, coastal erosion, and storm surges.
“Learning about climate change is important because it provides sound and real-time information on its threatening impacts that have caused disastrous events, and to resolve the climate crisis, we must first understand the problem,” she said.
“The best part about studying at PaCE-SD USP is that it has provided me with an incredible learning platform and environment in which to engage, collaborate, research, and innovate ideas to reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience in Pacific Island communities,”she added.
Her passion stems not only from her faith in God but also from loved ones and lessons learned along the way, from role models and sources of inspiration such as her father, who inspired her to reach for the stars while remaining forever humble and dedicated, to protecting her community and family from the challenges of climate change, just as her grandfather did.
Applications are still open until February 17th for those who are also passionate to pursue further studies at USP while classes for Semester 1 began on February 13.