As a child Ms. Persis Dilbudch Omelau spent many nights on the ocean fishing with her father. It was through the wisdom her father shared on these nights that Ms. Omelau recognized the vulnerability of Palau’s oceans. Her aspirations to conserve and protect Palau’s  valuable resources stemmed from these early memories. [/restrict]

After graduating from Mindszenty High School in 2010, Ms. Omelau attended Palau Community College where she received her Associate of Science degree in Environmental Marine Science. She graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries in 2016. During the summers of 2015 and 2016 Ms. Omelau interned with the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC). It was through her internship with PICRC that Ms. Omelau first learned about the Scholarships offered by the Government of Malta.

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Malta to the United Nations offers scholarships for Post Graduate Studies. The 2017/2018 Scholarships were offered as part of the Government of Malta’s commitment under the Climate Finance Package to provide support for capacity building in developing States. These scholarships offer students the opportunity to focus their studies and research according to their national needs supporting the growth of home-grown initiatives. The aim of these scholarships is to provide the opportunity to educate and train professional, young people from developing States.

Ms. Omelau was accepted into the program as a full-time student and will receive her Master’s of Science in Built Environment within the course of a year.  With the help of her supervisor Dr. Kevin Gatt, Ms. Omelau has started working on her project proposal, Adapting and Building Resilience to Climate Change: Sustainable Water Management. Her project will mainly focus on providing a collective design of policy frameworks and management plans that will increase water sustainability measures and ability to counteract the effects of climate change.

“As a science major, some people may consider me, a conservationist, environmentalist, biologist, etc. I, however, would consider myself a concerned local citizen who is determined to give back to my country in any way I can,” Says Ms. Omelau. “Whether I specialize in Fisheries or Climate Change, I believe what matters the most is taking care of your homeland, which is what I am looking forward to do after I achieve my educational goals.” [/restrict]