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When we went to the Carribean

  • 29 May 2021

  • Story

  • Desertification

  • Youth

Carribean beach

The Story of La Soufrière of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

In April 2021 the La Soufrière volcano in Saint Vincent (the largest of the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ archipelago) erupted, displacing more than 20% of the nation’s population, and destroying a very significant part of that country’s agriculture and forest. This eruption came on the heels of other serious challenges this nation must face, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

A presentation was made by Mr. Davidson as a panelist, in which he highlighted some of the consequences of this eruption for people, land, and the environment in general.    


The organizers of this event insisted from the beginning that there must be positive and concrete results from the same. Among the concrete results from the exercise were: 

  • The special internship for SIDS and LDCS: the CDIO has designed a special distant internship programme, specifically geared at supporting institutional capacity building in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This programme aims at enabling young professionals to make a greater and better contribution to the implementation of the UNCCD in their countries. Are you interested? See details here 
  • A similar exercise for the SIDS of the Pacific will be held in the future. This exercise to be done in 2022 shall deal with similar topics as was covered in the Caribbean exercise.  CYEN and youth organizations in the Pacific SIDS shall be invited to participate in this event. Our hope is to foster cooperation in the area of capacity building for youths in the Pacific SIDS as pertains to SLM, protection of the environment, and sustainable development as a whole.
  • Seedlings for St Vincent and the Grenadines. As part of this project, the UNCCD and CYEN will support reforestation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to replant forest destroyed by the volcanic eruption, through the provision of seeds.
  • The CYEN and the UNCCD/CDIO have agreed to continue their cooperation in support of capacity building for youths of the Caribbean, working on land and general environmental issues.

Julia Sampedro Cervinio

Intern in charge of the project: Julia Sampedro Cerviño

This project has meant great personal and professional growth to me and I enormously enjoyed the fact that I was given such responsibility and trust from the very beginning.

Having the opportunity to work with another team on the other side of the world, even though it was not always easy, was a fantastic learning experience about how to work with people with different cultures, schedules etc. 

Despite our differences, we all had the same goal: to develop a high-quality exercise with the aim of helping Caribbean youth to better understand different environmental problems in relation to land use in the Caribbean context as well as inspiring them with different ways to take action.

Without any doubt, it was an extremely rewarding and enriching project as well as a great source of inspiration for the development of my career.

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These events were organized by the UNCCD Capacity Development and Innovation Office.