This Act grants power to the Minister to declare an area to be a project area, so as to facilitate cadastral mapping and tenure clarification of that area, to exempt certain land from restrictions imposed by the Local Improvements Act, the Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act and the Town and Country Planning Act and to grant other exemptions regarding land registration and land tax. Other provisions of the Act concern registration of land in the project area and Land Administration and Management Programme Fund, which shall be used for the National Cadastral Mapping and Tenure Clarification Programme.
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The island - discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1494 - was settled by the Spanish early in the 16th century. The native Taino, who had inhabited Jamaica for centuries, were gradually exterminated and replaced by African slaves. England seized the island in 1655 and established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers. Jamaica gradually increased its independence from Britain. In 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies.