Through DeepGreen's partnership with the University of the South Pacific, we are pleased to congratulate Liliana Iotebatu after graduating with a degree in Marine Science. The people of Kiribati rely on the ocean for their livelihoods and Liliana's goal is to use her education to help restore the health of our oceans for today and future generations.
See Liliana Iotebatu's message below:
My name is Liliana Iotebatu, born and raised on Tarawa, the main Island of Kiribati. I am 26 years of age and recently graduated from the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji with a degree in Marine Science. I finally managed to complete my undergraduate studies with the help of DeepGreen Marine scholarship which supported me financially during my three years of study. Growing up on the Island of Kiribati, I have come to know and understand that we depend on marine and coastal ecosystems and its resources to support our livelihoods and wellbeing. It is also once said that “the Ocean is the foundation of our very existence and culture which is connected with our traditional skills and values”. That is why I chose to study marine science, to help assist and serve my country Kiribati, in their attempt to manage and sustain our marine resources and to counter the subsequent impacts of climate change and other anthropogenic activities to our marine environment. With Kiribati having 33 scattered Islands and one of the largest EEZ in the world, it houses rich and diverse marine resources. However, people continue to disrespect the ocean by using it as a dumping ground, overharvesting its resources and increasing its level of acidity. Therefore, my goal is to make a difference, to use my skills, knowledge and experiences that I have gained in my studies to help restore the health of our ocean for today and for the future generation.