Blyther: SVG vulnerable to climate change
October 11, 2011
Blyther: SVG vulnerable to climate change

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is among two dozen island nations of the Caribbean that are in the front lines of vulnerability to climate change, according to a report from the Stockholm Environment Institute-US Centre.{{more}}

According to the report, climate change will bring about hotter temperatures, sea-level rise and increased hurricane intensity that may threaten lives, property and livelihoods.

However, Director for the Nature Conservancy for the Eastern Caribbean Program, Ruth Blyther, has indicated that “SVG is doing a very good job in preparing for climate issues.”

Blyther’s remarks were made during an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, October 4, at the Pastoral Center in Edinboro, where she was coordinating a one-day environmental workshop on Coastal Resilience and Climate Change.

“They have all of the agencies in place; there are good policies and whenever you visit the communities, people are aware and they understand the issues of being prepared for a hurricane and storms…

All in all, I think you are prepared but, I think there is a lot more that needs to be done,” she added.

The Director also revealed that she has experienced certain situations that relate to the harmful effects associated with climate change that need to be addressed.

“When we visited the Grenadines and some parts of St. Vincent, there are places, like the hotels, that are sited in very low-lying areas. Then, there is the issue of cutting down all the mangroves and then they complain that the beaches are disappearing.

We need to understand the connection between a healthy mangrove and a healthy reef. These are what keep our beaches in place, and if you take those out and don’t protect them, then we will lose those things that, we do value in small islands,” the Director said.

She further explained that because of situations such as those she experienced during her visits here, “this is where we come in to build the understanding among policy makers, decision makers and with people who do developments along the coastal areas.

It’s about keeping people out of harm’s way and keeping those very things we need to protect,” Bythler stated.

The Nature Conservancy is the leading non-profit conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

The organization has been responsible for protecting more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide and operates in more than 100 marine conservation projects globally.(AA)