The Vision of the Forest Policy is that: by 2062, Jamaica’s forests and its biodiversity are sufficiently restored and sustainably managed, so once again the island can adequately be described as “the land of wood and water”, capable of meeting the social, economic and ecological needs of current and future generations. The Government of Jamaica is committed to the sustainable management of Jamaica’s forest resources and recognizes the importance of being guided by the following principles in the implementation of the Policy: 1) Transparency and Accountability; 2) Precautionary Approach; 3) Sustainable Development and Inter-generational Equity; 4) Varied Management Approaches; 5) Participation and Collaboration; 6) Protection and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity; 7) Best Science; 8) Recognising the Value of Forest Lands Goods and Services.This Policy governs all forests in Jamaica whether owned by the State or by private interests. Its scope covers land with reforestation potential and forests in urban settings and addresses national priorities as well as international obligations and commitments relating to climate change, biodiversity conservation, and the sustainable use of wetlands. The Goals of this Policy can be classified under three broad headings which relate to: Governance of the forestry sector and more specifically the mandate of the Agency, other public sector entities and other interest groups in this regard; The conservation and protection of forest ecological systems; and Relevant Socio-Economic considerations. Each goal has been further sub-divided into specific elements which were identified by the stakeholders in the forestry sector as priority areas in need of attention.Forests may be utilized for the following purposes: Economic development of forest products on plantations for extraction or timber production; Generation of non-timber forest products; Preservation of landscape diversity including forests on steep slopes; Promotion of agro-forestry; Sustainable management of mangrove forests; Conservation of soil and water resources; Management of urban forests for the use of the public; Development of nature tourism and recreational amenities; and Extraction of minerals under strict permit conditions. Agro-forestry utilises land-use systems and technologies with trees and shrubs on farms to support agricultural production, and protect soil and water resources, enhance biodiversity, sequester carbon and improve landscape values. In Jamaica, there is a need for a shift from the belief that one must remove all trees, in order to make way for farming activities.
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