Claire Anterea

  • Kiribati
  • Environment

Claire Anterea is a climate activist who has been trying to help her community and government understand the growing threats of climate change and how it affects their remote Pacific Island nation of Kiribati. During her time as a nun, Anterea began to see the effects of climate change on Kiribati and its people as she travelled between the nations thirty-two atolls on missions. Feeling the need to do more in the secular space, she left her convent to co-found the Kiribati Climate Action Network (KiriCAN) which became the nation’s first climate change advocacy group. 

Claire and her KIRICAN team visits local communities and invites them to learn more about caring for their environment and the looming threat of climate change through education and entertainment. Despite facing some faith-based resistance to the message, Anterea is encouraged that her work is being accepted and is a call to action for her people to fight for their future and their survival. Beyond her work inside Kiribati, Anterea also travels globally to represent her country and speak about climate issues at UN conferences and other forums on the topic.


  • Population
  • Capital
  • GDP (PPP)
  • July 12, 1979
  • Total Area
    811 km2 (186th)
  • Demonym
  • Government
    Parliamentary republic


Initially inspired by Kiribati art and jewelry crafted from seashells and found objects, I wanted to make a portrait compiled of trash and plastic found on the beach. As I was collecting, I stumbled upon a nautical map tucked under a pile of seaweed. The irony struck me immediately—a map of the ocean washing up on shore as the tide rose. Claire Anterea has been witnessing the effects of climate change, specifically rising sea levels on the shores of her home country of Kiribati. With many of the country’s islands only a few feet above sea level, Claire’s life’s work is explaining to the world just how drastic the effects of climate change are right now.

  • Illustration by
    Connor Linde