Declaration of Lands

What is Land Declaration:

The Forest Act of 1996 allows private landowners to apply for their forested lands to be declared as either a forest reserve or a forest management area.

Benefits of the Programme

  • your property will contribute to the preservation of Jamaica’s environment
  • remission of your property taxes
  • prosecution of offenders under the Forest Act

Steps to Take

Make a written application to the CEO and Conservator of Forests stating your interest in declaring your area under the Forest Act. Be sure to provide us with:

  • the exact location of your land (parish, district, volume and folio number of the title etc. )
  • the size of land proposed for declaration, and the percentage of the property this represents, e.g. 50%
  • the time period over which the declaration status would apply, e.g. 10 yrs, 20 yrs, forever
  • proof of ownership of the land, e.g. the title a recent survey of the land (not more than 7 years old)

What Happens Next

  • The Forestry Department schedules a site visit and based on this visit prepares a technical report for the CEO & Conservator.
  • The application for the declaration order is submitted and the CEO & Conservator makes a recommendation to the Minister who decides to accept or reject the application.
  • If accepted, the Minister will do either of the following:
  • Declare the land a Forest Management Area. Once the order has been signed and
  • the legal obligations fulfilled, the information will be published in the Gazette.


Subject to affirmative resolution, declare the private land a Forest Reserve after:

  • A notice of the intent to declare the land is published in the Gazette or such other medium as the Minister sees fit at least 90 days before making the order.
  • At least 90 days notice of the proposed declaration given by the Minister, e.g. by Gazette or newspaper.