Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an archipelagic State in the southern Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean region. It comprises more than thirty islands, islets and cays and occupying a land area of approximately 390 sq. km (Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2010). In total, more than 1,150 species of flowering plants, 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 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. In terms of marine biodiversity, over 500 species have been identified including 450 species of fin-fish, 12 species of whales and dolphins, 4 species of sea turtles, 9 species of gastropods, 11 species of seaweed and 30 coral species (Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2010).
Known for its natural beauty and rich biodiversity, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is home to diverse marine, coastal and terrestrial ecosystems, including coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangroves, wetlands, rainforests and dry tropical forests. Despite their intrinsic and economic value Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ ecosystems and protected areas face significant ecological threats. Considering these threats, the SVGCF must identify and support key management needs to protect and manage Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ biodiversity and natural resources.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ valuable marine ecosystems face increasing pressure from a suite of threats. The Fourth National Biodiversity Report identifies developments, illegal removal of beach sand, cutting of mangroves, fragmentation of habitats and degradation of coastal ecosystems as the top threats to the country’s biodiversity (Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2010). The NBSAP emphasizes that although some important achievements have been made since the previous report, most of the specific activities outlined have gone undone. Overall, the majority of key documents reviewed highlight the threat of pollution, unsustainable coastal development and habitat loss as the top threats.