Saint Kitts and Nevis


Saint Kitts and Nevis
17° 18' 0" N, 62° 43' 0.12" W

Capital Based Focal Point:

Department of Physical Planning and Environment
Ministry of Sustainable Development
Tel: +1 869 465 2277
Fax: +1 869 465 5842

Capital City: 
Category: Social
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Net enrollment ratio in primary education 97.59999999999999 98.5 96.2 95.59999999999999 90.40000000000001 MDG Database
Seats held by women in national parliament, percentage 13.3 13.3 13.3 13.3 13.3 6.7 6.7 6.7 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above) World Bank
Category: Land
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Agricultural land (1000 Ha) 9.5 9.3 8.1 8.1 8 5 5 5 5.1 FAO
Forest area (sq km) 53 53 53 53 53 53 53 53 World Bank
Forest area (% of land area) 20.38 20.38 20.38 20.38 20.38 20.38 20.38 20.38 World Bank
Category: Tourism
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
International tourism receipts (% of total exports) 58 62 57 75 103 115 116 Development Data Group, The World Bank. 2008. 2008 World Development Indicators Online. Washington, DC: The World Bank. Available at:
Category: Demographics
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Country population 44,286 46,111 46,710 46,710 46,984.80000000000291 48,000 48,393 48,789.80000000000291 49,189.90000000000146 49,593.30000000000291 World Bank
Population annual growth 4.68276 4.03829 1.29067 0.586611 2.13766 0.815416 0.816696 0.816696 0.816696 World Bank
Maternal mortality ratio (modeled estimate, per 100,000 live births) World Bank
Category: Indices
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
HDI - Human Development Index UNDP International Human Development Indicators - Calculated based on data from UNDESA (2009d), Barro and Lee (2010), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2010b), World Bank (2010b) and IMF(2010a).
Category: Economy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
GNI per capita, PPP (current international $) 9,740 9,670 9,720 9,840 11,120 12,100 13,270 13,960 15,490 13,640 World Bank
ODA received as % of GNI 1.3 3.29 8.96 0.05 0.01 0.64 1.12 0.72 9.12 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Workers remittances (current US$) 4,000,000 4,000,000 3,000,000 3,000,000 31,304,000 33,522,000 36,239,000 37,252,000 37,252,000 UN Data
Category: Energy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Electric power consumption (kWh) World Bank
Combustible renewables and waste (metric tons of oil equivalent) World Bank
Fossil fuel energy consumption (% of total) World Bank
Category: Climate Change and Sea-level Rise
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), thousand metric tons of CO2 (CDIAC) 103 183 198 220 227 235 235 249 MDG Database (CDIAC Data)
Category: Freshwater
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Improved water source (% of population with access) 99 99 100 99 99 World Bank
Category: Biodiversity
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected 0.77 0.77 0.77 0.77 0.77 0.77 0.77 0.77 0.77 0.77 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

St. Kitts & Nevis submitted its First National Communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2001. St. Kitts and Nevis has a tropical maritime climate, which is influenced by steady northeast trade winds and tropical oceanic and cyclonic movements. Major coastal impacts can be expected from sea-level rise and other effects of climate change. These effects will include an intensification of present patterns of coastal erosion, saline intrusion, and sea flooding. The fisheries sector, an important source of employment and nutrition is also vulnerable to climate change impacts. Wetland forests fulfill important ecological roles such as nurseries for fisheries, and these resources will also be at risk to sea-level rise and storm surges arising from climate change.

Natural and Environmental Disasters

The St. Kitts and Nevis National Disaster Management Agency was established under the National Disaster Management Act of St Christopher and Nevis 1998. Apart from the legislation which relates directly to disaster management and mitigation, there is also a physical planning and development policies to address the implications for disaster mitigation. The Federation is particularly vulnerable to damage from tropical storms. Earthquakes are derived directly from the tectonic interaction of the Caribbean and Atlantic Plates. A secondary concern is earthquake driven tsunamis which could cause considerable damage and loss of life in lo-lying, densely populated coastal areas. There is no historic record of major volcanic eruption in St. Kitts and Nevis. Nevertheless, the islands are geologically young and are experiencing minor activity at their Mt. Liamuiga and Nevis Peak outlets.

Waste Management

St. Kitts and Nevis adopted the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Act in 1999. The Act provides for the regulation and control of the importation, storage, manufacture, sale, transportation, disposal and use of pesticides and toxic chemicals. The Solid Waste Management Act was passed in 2000. Solid waste disposal in the Federation is limited to two sanitary landfills at Conaree and Roundhole in St. Kitts and at Lowground and Gingerland in Nevis. A large part of the waste is buried for decomposition. In rural areas, there are small and uncontrolled open dumps scattered about.

Coastal and Marine Resources

The costal and marine resources issue is addressed under integrated regulations of watershed and coastal area management base on the National Conservation and Environmental Protection Act (NCEPA) 1987. The National Report on Integrating the Management of Watersheds and Coastal Areas in St. Kitts and Nevis was established in 2001.

The Federation’s coastal zone constitutes a rich and unique habitat, which includes coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangroves, salt ponds, diverse aquatic life and the coastline. St. Kitts has a fragile 78.1 km long coastline consisting of 34.7 km cliff (rocks), 10.8 km cobble, 6.3 km boulders and rocks, 13.1 km black volcanic sand, and 13.2 km golden sand. These coastal resources provide the basis for a range of economic and social activities, including the tourism and fishing industries. There are also strong cultural attachments to coastal resources and their uses. The sustainability of coastal and marine resources is affected by a number of human activities such as sand mining, over-fishing and destruction of reefs. Certain areas of the Federation, notably along the important tourism area of Pinneys Beach in Nevis, have experienced dramatic rates of coastal erosion with considerable economic costs to owners and the national economy. Nevertheless significant areas, particularly on the South-East Peninsula in St Kitts, remain relatively pristine and are targeted for tourism and other development.

Freshwater Resources

Monitoring of water quality is carried out by the Environmental Health Department and the Water Department.The freshwater sources on St. Kitts and Nevis consist of direct rainfall, water from springs, storm runoff and groundwater. On both islands, the mountainous central areas provide the sources for the streams or “ghauts” that drain rainfall to the sea. While springs and surface water have historically been the main sources of water for potable and agricultural uses, there is increasing reliance on groundwater. Estimates of the availability of freshwater resources on St Kitts indicate that the island has considerable underground resources as well as significant surface water, particularly springs. In Nevis, rainwater harvesting from roofs is also an important source of domestic water supply. Water intakes are vulnerable to hurricane damage and flooding. Prolonged periods of dry weather already present stresses to the water supply, especially in Nevis.

Land Resources

The Planning Divisions of St. Kitts and Nevis have been authorised under the Development Control and Planning Act 2000 to exercise development control measures. St. Kitts and Nevis released a National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) in 2003 for the development of land and for the preservation and improvement of related amenities. Development also followed the Integrated Planning, Land Use and Development Control Policy for the period 2001-2005. There is also the St. Kitts and Nevis Building Code to address building regulations, which have been incorporated into the Development Control and Planning Act 2000. Land resources of St. Kitts and Nevis consist of volcanic mountains, rain forests and beaches. Most of the flat or moderately sloped land occurs near the coast and is where most of the urban and agricultural developments occur. Forests in St Kitts and Nevis continue to be of vital importance to sustainable development, particularly in relation to water supply, fuel-wood and the prevention of erosion and landslides. An estimated 37% of land area on St Kitts and 20% on Nevis is forested. Traditionally, forestry management has been directed primarily towards watershed protection and soil stabilization. With the growth of tourism, the importance of forested areas as eco-tourism attractions has become increasingly significant. In St. Kitts, the Government owns approximately 80% of the lands, of this around 30% is used by SSMC for producing sugar cane. And on Nevis, private individuals own most of the lands, with the Government owning only a small portion.

Energy Resources

A Draft National Energy Policy and Action Plan (NEPAP) was released in 2010 by the Ministry of Public Works, Utilities, Energy and Housing of the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis. A National Energy Commission was established in mid-2010 consisting of senior representatives of related Ministries. Since January of 2010, the Ministry of Public works, Utilities, Energy and Housing has become the principal Ministry in charge of energy related issues. The St. Kitts and Nevis energy sector is represented by two government owned utilities. Currently, two power plants are operating in the twin-island area independently. Electricity is produced entirely by diesel-fuelled engines. This places St. Kitts and Nevis in a vulnerable position as the islands are fully dependent on imported fossil fuels for their electricity generation and transportation. Due to increasingly expensive and volatile international fossil fuels prices, the Federation is under increasing pressure to introduce renewable energy resource into the islands. St. Kitts and Nevis has considerable renewable energy resources in wind, geothermal, solar and biomass. Wind and Geothermal energy development have been identified in the NEPAP as the renewable energy sources with the greatest short to medium term development potential, and a power purchase agreement (PPA) is being negotiated for a 5.4 MW wind farm. The geothermal development on Nevis is also ongoing. The use of electric cars has also been recently promoted on Nevis.


The country’s tourism industry is based on a combination of natural and historic attractions, notably the islands’ coastal and marine environment and rich historical heritage. The tourism sector is now the dominant engine for economic growth and is the principal source of foreign exchange and employment. St. Kitts and Nevis’ tourism-dependent economy was severely impacted by the global financial crisis, and near-term growth prospects remain challenging. Economic activity is estimated to have contracted by 5.5 percent in 2009 reflecting sharp declines in tourism and tourism-related construction activities. On the island of Nevis, the prolonged closure of its largest hotel due to damage by Hurricane Omar in 2008 has also contributed to the Federation’s weak economy.


The National Conservation and Environment Protection Act 1987 provides guidance for the management and development of the natural and historic resources in St. Kitts and Nevis. The Act also resulted in the establishment of national parks and other protected areas of natural and cultural importance. The Nevis Resource Assessment and Zoning Plan of 1990 restricts development in certain areas that have special environmental, ecological, historic or scenic qualities. And in 2000, the Development Control and Planning Act which came out in the country. The country’s biological wealth has played an important role in its economic development, being particularly important to the development of the tourism industry. The natural flora is very diverse and has high endemism, while biodiversity is particularly rich in marine and coastal areas, including a rich variety of reef and pelagic fish species, lobsters, conch, sea grasses, sea turtles, mangroves, algae, resident and migratory birds. However, the terrestrial fauna of the islands is mainly comprised of introduced animals.

Country Strategies: 
Title Programme Name Programme Description Year
UNFCCC Nat Comm - Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis initial national communication Strategy Description 2001
NBSAP - Saint Kitts and Nevis St Kitts and Nevis National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan Strategy Description 2009
NSDS - Saint Kitts and Nevis
Bill | 27 Aug 2012
PREPARED BY OHRLLS   SUMMARY The 2012 Third World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), saw 36 representatives and heads of state from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) take to the floor during the Plenary Session to deliver statements on a range of issues of importance and relevance to them. Of the 36 SIDS representatives, 10 were Heads of State while 10 were Heads of Government making up 26% of the 77 Heads of State and Heads of Government who addressed the Plenary...
02 Apr 2013 | SIDS Policy and Practice
20 March 2013: The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC) hosted a discussion of the successes and challenges involved with implementing Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) Phase out Management Plans under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The meeting convened the English speaking Caribbean and Haiti Ozone Officers Regional Network Meeting in Basseterre, St. Kitts from 18-...
08 Feb 2013 | SIDS Policy and Practice
February 2013: The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Global Mechanism (GM) has launched a revamped web-based platform titled “Sustainable Land Management (SLM) – Finance.”  The site will support the exchange of information on funding and finance for sustainable land management (SLM) among African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, many of which are also small island developing States (SIDS).   The platform, which is part of the EU-funded Scope|ACP project, a South...
External Resources: 

Coming soon.

National focal point for sustainable development: 
Ministry of Sustainable Development
Tel: (869) 467-1256, Fax: (869) 466-7398