The National Land Policy was adopted by Jamaica in 1997 as a national policy for the land sector. It establishes the framework needed for Jamaica to become more progressive, transparent and modern in its approaches to land and geographic information management systems, land administration and utilization, land resources and environmental management, and land development planning. The goals and objectives of this Policy are to ensure the sustainable, productive and equitable development, use and management of the country’s natural resources. The policy seeks to enhance the sector with interventions related to land information management systems; land resources and use; land titling, land tenure and access; acquisition, pricing and divestment of government owned-lands; taxation and incentives for property development; environmental and disaster management; legislation; and institutional framework and reform.In particular, the Policy identifies and seeks to ensure the establishment of an effective network and land information management system, the basis for all planning, development, utilization and management and administration of land; affordable and legally secure access to land for the majority; property taxation measures that would allow for the provision of necessary services; incentives for property development; recognition of the disasters to which the country is prone, and the protection and conservation of sensitive and scarce resources, while pursuing development initiatives in an environmentally sound manner; divestment and acquisition procedures and mechanisms, and pricing formulae that are transparent and rational; innovative and more dynamic approaches to land use planning and development; a participatory approach to planning and development with private sector, non-government and community based initiatives to deal with settlements and environmental issues and to implement solutions; effective land management and administration institutions; and a programme of reform for legislation on land.As mentioned, the Policy adresses land tenure and access issues. Regarding this matter, Chapter 4 of the Policy sets out these policies: a) the Government will continue the programme to putting in place programmes and measures to streamline the land titling process, and modernize land registration activities; b) the Government will deal with the issue of family land to determine how this cultural practice can be recognized and dealt with legally. Solutions to be examined include restricted freehold structure, mandatory land registration, possibility of co-heirs leasing the land and in establishing a legal framework in which this type of tenure can be registered.The Policy will seek to incorporate a disaster mitigation component and hazard risk zoning in physical development plans; and to develop local capacity to prepare landslide, seismic zonation, and storm surge maps.
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OFFICE OF THE PRIME MININISTE
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