Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the Forestry Department

The Forestry Department was designated as an Executive Agency since May 2010. 

Forests are of inestimable importance. They produce many products that are used daily; from fruits, paper, wood as well as by-products, such like medicines, cosmetics and detergents.

Forests also provide habitats for diverse animal species, and form the source of livelihood for many communities.

They offer watershed protection, prevent soil erosion, help to maintain the water cycle, and help reduce global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which is used in photosynthesis.

A recent comprehensive analysis of the country’s land cover revealed that approximately 40 per cent or 441, 294.87 hectares of the mainland is covered by forests.

This is up from 30 per cent, reported in 1998 Land Use Assessment.

The purpose of the Forest Plan is to promote and improve the conservation and sustainable use of the forest resources of the country to meet local and national needs through protecting, managing and restoring the resource for the benefit of present and future generations. This 5-year Forest Plan has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of section 16 of the Forest Act of 1996. A draft plan was completed in January 2000. This plan was widely distributed and presented to the public in a series of well-attended meetings and workshops. The consultative process generated valuable contributions to the Forest Plan.

A Local Forest Management Committee (LFMC) is the institutional body created in watersheds management units to enable the participation of the communities in the co-management of forested areas (specifically those managed by the Forestry Department. The formation of Local Forest Management Committees (LFMCs) is provided for by the Forest Act, 1996 and is an integral component of the “Community Participation” strategy of the Agency.

There are 18 Local Forest Management Committees established across the island. 

National Tree Planting Day is observed on the first Friday in October...

The observance of National Tree Planting Day started in October 2003 as part of activities to mark the 65th anniversary of the Forestry Department.

The Agency specializes in timber and ornamental or shade seedlings

The Agency provides a selection of seedlings free of cost on the lead up to National Tree Planting Day and also for annual Labour Day projects. Most of the timber and ornamental seedlings provided around the time of National Tree Planting Day and Labour Day are free.

However, outside of those two times of the year, seedlings are available for purchase starting at prices as low as twenty dollars ($20).

Fruit tree seedlings also attract a cost of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250) each.

Seedlings are available at all the Agency’s nurseries:

Head Office- 173 Constant Spring Road, Kingston 8

Williamsfield, Manchester

Moneague (adjacent to the JDF training Camp), St Ann

Mount Airy, St. Andrew