During vacations to her home province in the Solomon Islands, Zina Bird saw firsthand the changes occurring in the local communities, and this was motivation enough for her to pursue studies in climate change.
The 34-year-old is currently a Doctor of Philosophy in Climate Change student at the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD) at The University of the South Pacific (USP). She is from the Solomon Islands and is part of the discussions at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) in Egypt.
“Urgent climate action will minimise the tide from washing away our heritage, culture, and identity from our future generations and can also save our food source,” Zina said.
Her focus at the COP27 negotiations is around food security and she has stressed that food security was an important aspect for those living in small Pacific Island states. She added that climate change was directly impacting food security in many nations.
“For small islands, our voices and number may not seem big, but we continue to give our thoughts and ideas addressing climate change and food security,” she added.
“I want to see what the results are by the end of this week because there were outcomes from the last COP meeting that showed some targets in certain areas were not achieved. This was disappointing for smaller nations like ours. I want to see that change during this COP meeting.”
Zina is one of four students funded by the European Union Intra-ACP GCCA+ Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) programme at USP who is attending COP27 in Egypt.