Skip to content

Update and Photos from Storm Relief Efforts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

June 10, 2014

After a massive storm devastated St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) late last year, 1994 Goldman Prize winner Andrew Simmons returned to his island home to assist with the disaster relief effort and educate locals about climate change’s particularly harsh impact on small island communities.

Simmons was awarded the Prize in 1994 for spearheading a community-based environmental movement in SVG by establishing JEMS, a volunteer community development organization that uses literacy and skills programs to motivate communities to protect the island’s natural resources.

Simmons, who is now based in the UK, traveled to SVG during February and March of 2014. During that time he volunteered with the relief program set up by JEMS. He also partnered with the SVG Red Cross, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the Lion’s Club.

Together with these groups, Simmons distributed food, clothes, books and school supplies to families affected by the storm. He also initiated a series of training workshops to educate people about climate change and its impact on small island communities.

“These workshops were implemented in schools and communities that were affected by the storm and are vulnerable to climate change impact in the future. They were well attended and aimed at raising the awareness of people on the impact of climate change and providing them with the skills and strategies to reduce the impact of climate change in their own communities,” Simmons described.

Simmons’s workshops were also discussed on three international radio talk show programs, which generated media attention across the globe.

Thanks to his awareness-building efforts, the SVG government decided to allocate over a million dollars in national budgeting to support a national tree planting program and to create a new senior public service post of Climate Change Officer. This person will manage a team of professionals with responsibility for development and implementing the country’s climate change policies and programs.

 photo 413e393e-dd44-4e3f-8cd5-b0bfcd760f4a_zpsf6aaef0b.jpg
1994 Goldman Prize winner Andrew Simmons with a young activist.

 photo e90d910e-0e53-4329-a149-6e33695c5d08_zps8dbcc11f.jpg
Disaster relief supplies waiting to be distributed.

 photo 5cfc1680-a97c-41db-89fe-2b2098bdf6e2_zps93f9baf3.jpg
Andrew Simmons and group of volunteers delivering disaster relief supplies to locals.

Related Posts

Goldman Prize Winners Call for Release of Nguy Thi Khanh


September 13, 2022

Today, 52 Goldman Environmental Prize winners sent a letter to the members of the UN Human Rights Council in support of Nguy Thi Khanh, the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize winner from Vietnam. Khanh is serving a two-year prison sentence in Vietnam for the alleged crime of tax evasion, widely understood as punishment for being an…

Read more

Stopping the Spill: How Oil Is Changing Our Earth


August 22, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

News headlines every few years can leave the impression that oil spills are rare, one-off events, like BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 or the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. In reality, they happen constantly: Over 700 million gallons of waste oil reach the ocean every year, destroying entire ecosystems and communities. Beyond its role in…

Read more

Indigenous Communities: Protectors of our Forests


August 8, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

It has now become widely understood in environmental circles that Indigenous groups around the world are often the best stewards of land conservation because of their longstanding cultural, spiritual, and physical connections to their territories. August 9, is UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a day that recognizes the unique role of Indigenous…

Read more