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La Soufriere Volcanic Eruption in Saint Vincent: Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA)

San Vicente y Granadinas
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Drafted by C. Kelly

A summary of top-level environmental issues to support recovery in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines following the La Soufriere volcanic eruption.

The Environment and Disaster Management team extends sympathies to the Vincentian people for the destruction and suffering caused by the La Soufriere volcanic eruption.

We offer here a brief environmental summary of key issues to support a robust, resilient recovery and reconstruction process.

Key Points

  • Sustainable management of volcanic ash and flood-carried rock, sand, and sediment, as well as sand mining, require attention in near to medium response planning to address potential impacts linked to human well-being and livelihoods.
  • Sustainable livelihoods, shelter, water, sanitation, hygiene, and support for other basic needs will be required for displaced populations for the foreseeable future.
  • A phased, conditions-limited return process should incorporate Nature-based Adaptation, Nature-based Disaster Risk Reduction, local labor and livelihoods, and strong local engagement, including gender considerations.
  • Planning for hurricane and seasonal weather, incorporating changes to the Saint Vincent environment due to the volcanic eruptions, should be completed in the next few weeks.
  • The environmental impacts of eruptions and relief aid should be included in a formal damage and needs assessment and recovery and reconstruction planning.