31.3% —or about 339,000 hectares—of Jamaica is forested.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, Jamaica lost an average of 400 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 0.12%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change increased by 1.2% to 0.12% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, Jamaica lost 1.7% of its forest cover, or around 6,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, Jamaica lost 1.4% of its forest and woodland habitat.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: Jamaica has some 406 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 21.2% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 10.3% are threatened. Jamaica is home to at least 3308 species of vascular plants, of which 27.9% are endemic. 0.0% of Jamaica is protected under IUCN categories I-V.


Jamaica: Forest Cover, 2005
Total Land Area (ha)1,083,000
Total Forest Area (ha)339,000
Percent Forest Cover31.30%
Primary Forest Cover (ha)-
Primary Forest, % total forest-
Primary Forest, % total land-
Other wooded land (ha)188,000

Jamaica : Forest types
Tropical (% forest area)100%
Subtropical (% forest area)0%
Temperate (% forest area)0%
Boreal/polar (% forest area)0%

Jamaica: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)--
Modified natural (ha | %)325,00095.9%
Semi-natural (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)8,0002.4%
Production plantation (ha | %)6,0001.8%

Jamaica: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)345,000
Forest 2000 (ha)341,000
Forest 2005 (ha)339,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(400)-0.12%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(400)-0.12%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(6,000)-1.74%
Change in rate (%)1.17%
Primary 1990 (ha)-
Primary 2000 (ha)-
Primary 2005 (ha)-
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)--
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)--
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)--
Change in rate (%)-
Other 1990 (ha)190,000
Other 2000 (ha)189,000
Other 2005 (ha)188,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(100)-0.05%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(200)-0.11%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(2,000)-1.05%
Change in rate (%)101.06%
Other 1990 (ha)15,000
Other 2000 (ha)14,000
Other 2005 (ha)14,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(100)-0.67%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(1,000)-6.67%
Change in rate (%)-100.00%
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)520,000
Other 2000 (ha)516,000
Other 2005 (ha)513,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(400)-0.08%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)(600)-0.12%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(7,000)-1.35%
Change in rate (%)51.16%

Jamaica: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)-
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)0
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)0.00%

Jamaica: Forest designation
Ownership of forest land, 2000
Public (%)27.6%
Private (%)65.1%
Other (%)7.3%
Ownership of other wooded land, 2000
Public (%)5.1%
Private (%)91.1%
Other (%)3.5%
Designated functions of forest – primary function 2005
Production (%)2.4%
Protection (%)4.5%
Conservation (%)21.3%
Social Services (%)0.0%
Multiple Services (%)6.0%
None of Unknown (%)65.8%

Jamaica: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)0.00%
Insects (ha)0.00%
Diseases (ha)0.00%
Other (ha)0.00%

Jamaica: Protected areas
Protected areas
Biosphere reserves, 2005
Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), 20051
World Heritage sites, 20040
Protected Areas: IUCN categories I-V, percent of total land0.0%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories Ia, Ib, and II, extent, percent of total land0.00%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories III, IV, and V, percent of total land, 20040.00%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories VI and other, percent of total land, 200415.98%

Jamaica: Biodiversity - Wildlife
total species24
endemic species21
threatened species17
total species298
endemic species35
threatened species12
total species35
endemic species5
threatened species5
total species49
endemic species25
threatened species8
Wildlife diversity
total species406
endemic species86
threatened species42

Jamaica: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species722
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered15
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic923
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened208

Jamaica: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)55
Below-ground biomass (M t)13
Dead wood (M t)8
Total (M t)76
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)27
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)7
Carbon in dead wood (M t)4
Carbon in litter (M t)1
Soil carbon (M t)28
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)1
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)-
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)1
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)n.s.
Plant products 2005
Food (t)-
Fodder (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)-
Exudates (t)-
Other plant products (t)-
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)-
Hides, skins and trophies (units)-
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)-
Bush meat (t)-
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Other edible animal products (t)-
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)$55,000
Wood fuel (US$)-
Non-wood forest products (US$)-
Total value (US$)$55,000
Total value ($USD/ha)$n.s.
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employed1,000

Jamaica : Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
Jamaica: Environment
Environment - current issuesheavy rates of deforestation; coastal waters polluted by industrial waste, sewage, and oil spills; damage to coral reefs; air pollution in Kingston results from vehicle emissions
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Natural hazardshurricanes (especially July to November)

Jamaica: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 16.07%
permanent crops: 10.16%
other: 73.77% (2001)
Natural resourcesbauxite, gypsum, limestone

Jamaica: Economy
Economy - overview:The Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services, which now account for 60% of GDP. The country continues to derive most of its foreign exchange from tourism, remittances, and bauxite/alumina. The global economic slowdown, particularly after the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, stunted economic growth; the economy rebounded moderately in 2003-04, with brisk tourist seasons. But the economy faces serious long-term problems: high interest rates; increased foreign competition; a pressured, sometimes sliding, exchange rate; a sizable merchandise trade deficit; large-scale unemployment; and a growing internal debt, the result of government bailouts to ailing sectors of the economy. The ratio of debt to GDP is more than 125%. Inflation, previously a bright spot, is expected to remain in the double digits. Uncertain economic conditions have led to increased civil unrest, including gang violence fueled by the drug trade. In 2004, the government faced the difficult prospect of having to achieve fiscal discipline in order to maintain debt payments while simultaneously attacking a serious and growing crime problem which is hampering economic growth. Attempts at deficit control were derailed by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, which required substantial government spending to repair the damage. Despite the hurricane, tourism looks set to enjoy solid growth for the foreseeable future.
GDP - per capita$4,300 (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)3.2% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productssugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, vegetables, poultry, goats, milk, crustaceans, and mollusks
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 4.9%, industry: 33.8%, services: 61.3% (2005 est.)
Industries tourism, bauxite/alumina, textiles, agro processing, wearing apparel, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications
Economic aid - recipient$16 million (2003)
Debt - external$6.792 billion (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line (%)19.7% (2002 est.)
Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture 20.1%, industry 16.6%, services 63.4% (2003)

Jamaica: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)2,731,832
Population growth rate (%) (2005)0.71%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)252.2
Percent rural (2003)47.9%
Median age (years)total: 27.25 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)1.95 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)black 90.9%, East Indian 1.3%, white 0.2%, Chinese 0.2%, mixed 7.3%, other 0.1%

Largest Cities in Jamaica

Cities and urban areas in Jamaica with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World’s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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