St. Vincent and the Grenadines Striving for Sustainable Development

Attention to climate change and the environment is critically important in this small island developing state. SVG is vulnerable to volcanic eruptions, powerful hurricanes, flooding and to a lesser extent, earthquakes

The “greenest, cleanest Caribbean environment”

Overview

The 2020 budget for St. Vincent and the Grenadines was laid in parliament prior to the global onset of COVID 19. Several ideals related to the growth of a sustainable society were outlined (see the full document here). Among them, were aspirations to be

  • The “greenest, cleanest Caribbean environment”
  • The “planners and builders of the strongest possible levels of preparedness for climate change and natural disasters”
  • A “proponent and exemplar of sustainable, people-centred development”

 

The budget also assigned 34% of capital expenditure to climate resilience, disaster response and renewable energy.

At the same time, a 105% increase in expenditure on health and the environment over the 2001 budget almost 20 years ago was also noted. As one of the most biodiverse states in the Caribbean region the nation understands that it’s ecosystems must be protected.

Attention to climate change and the environment is critically important in this small island developing state. SVG is vulnerable to volcanic eruptions, powerful hurricanes, flooding and to a lesser extent, earthquakes.

SVG is a party to the Convention on Biodiversity, a global body. The country’s latest national report to the CBD (2019)  (p. 1) notes that signs of progress include biodiversity values being mainstreamed into the National Economic and Social Development Plan 2013-2025, the creation of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Preservation Fund (SVG PF), and the ongoing restoration of the Ashton Lagoon, its main mangrove system.

Other practical steps that have been taken to protect the environment include bans on styrofoam and single use plastics as well as on some pesticides. The government has promised to investigate ways to lessen effluent from the many yachts that have seemingly become part of the coastal landscape of the Grenadines islands.