I am passionate about climate change because my people and my country are facing the effects of extreme climate events leading to the loss of their land, culture and livelihood.
Maria comes from and is an advocate for the island nation of Kiribati which lies on the equator in the Pacific and is one of the places most at risk from the effects of climate change. Her island nation is one of the world’s poorest countries, with few natural resources. The effects of rising sea levels, one of the consequences of climate change, will be borne disproportionately by the world’s most impoverished countries - which are also those that make a negligible contribution to global warming and are the least well equipped to adapt. Maria is actively working to increase awareness of how Climate Change is affecting islands in the Pacific. She is setting out to protect the future of her own people and to bring others to an understanding of the kinds of decisions industrialised societies need to make to extend the amount of time her people can continue to live on their islands.
Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Edmund Rice Centre, Sydney