Australian by Degree – Kristina Fiddali, Solomon Islands( Climate Change)
Watching her family home become increasingly threatened by rising sea levels spurred Kristina Fiddali on to pursue an Australia Awards scholarship in climate science so that she could help her community and country face this growing problem.
Kristina’s interest in climate change began when she realized that her family home in the Solomon Islands – which her father had built over a lifetime – was increasingly threatened by rising sea levels.
In 2012 she took up an Australia Awards Scholarship to study a Masters of Climate Change at the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy. She feels it was the opportunity of a lifetime as she was able to learn from some of the great minds in the area of climate change today. The experience also allowed her to develop personally and she returned to the Solomon Islands in 2013 with new confidence.
Before long, Kristina was offered a job to lead an important nationwide climate change project. Implemented by the United Nations (UN), the new project aims to help Solomon Islanders adapt to more unpredictable weather patterns, rising seas levels and the many other impacts of climate change, which communities across the Solomon Islands are experiencing.
The island community where Kristina grew-up, and that she still calls home, is particularly affected. She knows that it is probably too late to save her family home from the ever-rising sea. Even so, Kristina says that it is vital to stay positive so that they can find solutions.
Through the UN Project, Kristina is helping farmers to trial more resilient crops and to monitor the changes in the environment so that they can make informed land-use decisions, among other important steps to adapt to climate change.
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