Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Capital Based Focal Point

Nyasha Hamilton

Capital City: 
English, Vincentian Creole
Category: Social
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Net enrollment ratio in primary education 91.8 93.59999999999999 94.8 93.2 93.90000000000001 92.5 93.90000000000001 MDG Database
Seats held by women in national parliament, percentage 4.8 4.8 22.7 22.7 22.7 22.7 18.2 18.2 18.2 18.2 21.7 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) 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 FAO
Forest area (sq km) 103 104 104 105 106 107 108 109 World Bank
Forest area (% of land area) 26.41 26.67 26.67 26.92 27.18 27.44 27.69 27.95 World Bank
Category: Tourism
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
International tourism receipts (% of total exports) 82 89 91 91 96 104 113 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 107,857 107,953 108,116 108,321 108,531 108,716 108,872 109,005 109,117 109,209 World Bank
Population annual growth 0.0194721 0.0889672 0.150878 0.189432 0.193681 0.170313 0.14339 0.122087 0.102695 0.0842776 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 $) 5,020 5,340 5,630 5,830 6,330 6,730 7,690 8,700 8,970 8,830 World Bank
ODA received as % of GNI 1.95 2.47 1.32 1.82 2.75 1.88 1 12.37 4.71 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Workers remittances (current US$) 3,000,000 3,000,000 4,000,000 3,420,000 25,517,000 26,486,000 29,728,000 30,548,000 30,548,000 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) 158 180 187 194 194 198 202 202 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) World Bank
Category: Biodiversity
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected 1.23 1.23 1.23 1.23 1.23 1.23 1.23 1.23 1.23 1.23 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), the National Environmental Advisory Board (NEAB) is authorized to fill the role of the national climate committee. A National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) has been prepared by the NEAB, which establishes environmental priorities for the country and also provides a strategy for environmental action. The Climate Change Work Programme has also been implemented in SVG. In 2009, a comprehensive Environmental Management Act was drafted. The National Economic and Social Development Plan (NESDP) and the National Physical Development Plan (NPDP) have been drafted as well, addressing a sustainable development strategy in the context of climate change. SVG consists of 30 islands, inlets, and cays with a total land area of 345 km². 85% percent of the population lives on a narrow coastal strip less than 5 m above sea level and less than 5 km from the high-water mark, and more than 80% of the island’s total infrastructure bases fall in this area. Accelerated climate change will have a substantial impact on SVG. Vulnerabilities associated with climate change are already evident, including sea-level rise, tropical storms, inland flooding, landslides, and precipitation variability.

Natural and Environmental Disasters

SVG has established a National Disaster Plan to deal with both natural and man-made disasters. A national vulnerability assessment is under consideration by the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) and the National Hazard Mitigation Council under the current Emergency Recovery and Disaster Management Project (ERDM). The National Emergency and Disaster Management Act was enacted in 2006 in the country. The geographical location of SVG falls in the path of hurricanes and tropical storms originating in the Atlantic. The subtropical anticyclones and the inter-tropical convergence zone influence local climatic conditions. Because of the islands low latitude, most tropical storms originating along the west coast of Africa have drifted further north by the time they hit the Caribbean Sea. In 1980, Hurricane Allen damaged the entire eastern coastline of the island. A number of public investments have occurred along the coast in recent years for disaster preparedness management.

Waste Management

SVG has relevant waste management policies and legislations. The Central Water and Sewerage Authority acts as the National Solid Waste Management Authority of SVG. The two primary sources of emissions from waste products are municipal solid waste and human waste. There are extant waste management facilities in SVG: for example, there are currently 7 solid waste disposal sites on St. Vincent and 3 managed sites operating in the Grenadines. Approximately 75% of households are equipped with soak-away septic systems while the remaining 25% are equipped with pit latrines on Union Island. The absence of a national sanitary landfill has resulted in several open dumps located without good sitting criteria. SVG lacks a national wastewater treatment system, a fact that could negatively affect the ground and offshore water quality. The coastal waters of SVG are further affected by ship-generated waste. Moreover, the link between waste disposal and poverty has been addressed by the local authority. The need for access to a basic waste treatment facility has been addressed in the country’s poverty reduction strategy.

Coastal and Marine Resources

SVG has several pieces of legislation to manage coastal and marine resources. In addition, the Adaptation Measures in Coastal Zones (GEF) Project is being implemented. Coastal and marine resource-based activities are a major revenue stream for Vincentians. Approximately greater than 42 hectares of mangroves remain along coastal areas in SVG. The rich resources of coral reefs are important to St. Vincent’s economy, with estimated values between $ 466,801 and $141, 136,608 USD. SVG is already experiencing degradation in many areas. Overfishing, coastal habitat destruction, sedimentation, solid waste and sewage disposal from land-based and boat sources, as well as the recreational abuse of coral reefs have been cited as causal factors for this deterioration.

Freshwater Resources

The Central Water and Sewage Authority (CWSA) and the Forestry Departments share the responsibility of SVG’s water resources management. There is no national water policy for SVG; however a National Water Resources Management Project is in operation to contribute to the building of a national policy. In SVG, the average annual rainfall is 3,800 mm inland, and 1,600 mm on the coast. Most of the St. Vincent’s water supply is extracted from rivers and streams near the source, while freshwater in the Grenadines is obtained mainly from rainwater runoff. A domestic, potable water supply, hydroelectricity and irrigation for agriculture are the three main entities depending on the freshwater generated in SVG. Most of the freshwater is treated by means of sedimentation, filtration and chlorination. While the basic infrastructure of water, electricity and sanitation already exist, there are still some areas of SVG without access to any or all of these services.

Land Resources

SVG has several projects and regulations related to sustainable use and conservation of land resources. SVG has signed the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and ratified it in July of 1998. The Integrated Forest Management and Development Programme has been established, and a program for agricultural diversification has also been developed in the country. SVG has a total land area of 345 km². Of that total, 139 km² are allocated to agricultural use and 121 km² to forestland. The soils of the island are fertile, with ample rainfall supporting a wide variety of agricultural commodities. SVG is one of the only two countries (Cuba is the other) in the region that have managed to significantly increase their forest covers between 1990-2000 and 2000-2005 by 0.8% and 0.8% respectively. Accelerated global warming and increasing CO2 concentrations are expected to have substantial impacts on agriculture and forests. SVG’s land area has been under constant pressure. Land-use planning/zoning and the application of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) are being utilized by SVG to reduce development pressures in sensitive areas. SVG has also promoted a high-density housing policy, but the execution of this activity is largely constrained in the country.

Energy Resources

SVG has a National Energy Policy (NEP). In 2010, the country established its Energy Action Plan in 2010, which develops SVG’s energy policy from 2009 until 2030. SVG has no domestic sources of fossil fuel, and the country is entirely dependent on imported supplies. Alternative fuels have also been considered, with some potential identified in solar collection, geothermal power generation, and wind power. A goal has been set by The Energy Action Plan to deliver 30% of projected total electricity output from Renewable Energy Sources (RES) by 2015 and 60% by 2020.


SVG has established its Tourism Development Project (TDP). The development of a National Parks System is considered as a major component of the TDP. There are also several strategic plans for the tourism sector. Tourism has replaced the agriculture industry as the largest source of income in SVG. However, tourism activity in SVG has lagged behind when compared with other Caribbean destinations. A community-based tourism strategy has been implemented in SVG to address the conservation and preservation of tourism-site resources. The establishment of the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority is expected to play a significant role in this area once it is operational. The disastrous impacts of climate change and sea level rise are causing gradual erosion of coastal areas, impacting the tourism industry which leans heavily up on them for its livelihood. For example, a number of white sandy beaches and vibrant offshore coral reefs are boasted to form the mainstay of the SVG’s tourism industry, and their erosion has proven problematic in the country.


SVG submitted its Fourth National Biodiversity Report NBSAP to the UNCBD in 2010. The National Environmental Advisory Board (NEAB) was established in 1996 to implement the National Environmental Management Strategy (NEMS). The existing biodiversity-related environmental legislation mainly consists of the Wildlife Protection Act, the Marine Park Act, the National Parks Act, and the Environmental Management Act. In total, there are more than 1,150 species of flowering plans, 163 species of ferns, 4 species of amphibians, 16 species of reptiles, 111 species of birds, and 15 species of mammals have been identified on SVG. In terms of marine biodiversity, over 500 species have been identified. The agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism industries all depend on biodiversity and the ecosystem services that they supply. As SVG moves from an I-PRSP towards a full Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, biodiversity conservation and sustainable usage is expected to be more explicitly addressed in national level policy.

Country Strategies: 
Title Programme Name Programme Description Year
PRSP - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2003
UNFCCC Nat Comm - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Initial national communication on climate change. St. Vincent and the Grenadines Strategy Description 2000
NBSAP - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines The Fourth National Biodiversity Report of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the UNCBD Strategy Description 2010
NSDS - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Bill | 30 Jul 2013
July 2013: The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) announced that they undertook back-to-back legislative assistance missions to Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago from 10-21 June 2013. The main outcome was the adoption of enabling legislation (but not implementing regulations) in Saint Lucia and the development of draft legislation (but not enactment) in the other four...
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...
27 Apr 2013 | SIDS Policy and Practice
April 2013: The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is calling for proposals to enhance the involvement of the private sector under the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) and the Forest Investment Program (FIP). PPCR distributes US$70 million to stimulate innovative programmes and projects enabling the private sector to reduce countries’ exposure to climate risk and uncertainty, while FIP distributes over US$50 million to engage the private sector in REDD+. With respect to the PPCR,...
External Resources: 

Coming soon.

National focal point for sustainable development: 
Isma Richards