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Protected Areas

Protected Areas designated under the Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act, 1991


Jamaica is an archipelagic state with an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna, terrestrial and aquatic habitats, natural and man-made landscapes. The diversity of flora and fauna life is characterized by a high level of endemism. In light of this knowledge, efforts have been made to protect and conserve this rich natural heritage through the establishment of protected areas.

The Protected Area System Master Plan Jamaica 2013-2017 defined a protected area as a “clearly defined geographical area of land and or water that is dedicated to and managed for the long term conservation and sustainable use of its ecological systems, biodiversity and/or specific natural, cultural or aesthetic resources”. Different types of protected areas have been established under the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act, The Fisheries Act, The Forest Act, The Jamaica National Heritage Trust Act, The Beach Control Act (BCA) and the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA). The National Environment and Planning Agency/NRCA is responsible for the management of eleven protected areas declared/designated under the NRCA Act and Wild Life Protection Act.  Cabinet recently approved the designation of the Pedro Cays Protected Area.


Listed are Storymaps capturing some key highlights of selected protected areas declared under the NRCA Act:
Other protected areas declared under the NRCA Act for future inclusion are:
  1. Cockpit Country Protected Area, Section 5 (1) (b)
  2. Mason River Protected Area, Section 5 (1) (b)
  3. Montego Bay Marine Park, Section 5 (1) (c)
  4. Negril Environmental Protection Area, Section 33
  5. Pedro Cays Protected Area
  6. Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park