[caption id="attachment_4178" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Climate Change in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Infrastructural damage in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines town of Georgetown, following the Christmas Eve 2013 storm. Photo Credit: trust.org


In a lot of developed countries, and especially those in temperate climates, it is easy to think of climate change as something that is going to happen. A threat that will influence the lives of our children or grandchildren. However, in a lot of places people are already experiencing a lot of the negative effects of global warming. Particularly developing countries around the equator are seeing the impact and if you happen to live in a small island state you are facing an even higher risk. St. Vincent & the Grenadines, unfortunately, fits perfectly into all these categories.

At Richmond Vale Academy we went out into the local communities to observe and talk to people about their experience with living in a place that is changing rapidly. Not all of the people we met were familiar with the concepts of Global Warming or Climate Change but everyone could tell that their country was acting differently than it used to.    

The consequences of Global Warming and Climate Change in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

[caption id="attachment_4181" align="aligncenter" width="412"]Coastal damage on Black Point Beach on the Windward Side of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Photo Credit: trust.org Coastal damage on Black Point Beach on the Windward Side of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Photo Credit: trust.org

[caption id="attachment_4179" align="aligncenter" width="404"]Erosion at Dark View Falls Erosion at Dark View, one of the areas earmarked for slope stabilisation works to cut disaster risk in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Photo Credit: trust.org

Conclusion

It is very clear that global warming has already caused a lot of damage in St. Vincent. It is sad to the people here suffer from the multiple consequences of climate change, when it is mainly happening due to the excessive burning of fossil fuels from richer, developed countries (many of them on the other side of the world). The Vincentians, however, did not seem to be hopeless. Several were already taking measures to ensure water and reduce soil erosion. There was a big correlation between how much people knew about climate change and how much they were doing about it. Getting more information out to people is, the way I see it, the first step in helping St. Vincent & the Grenadines fight global warming. After all, their sprit is far from broken. The old man who may lose his house in 10 years was still smiling when he said he would have to move.

Written by Markus Schaumburg-Müller