This Act makes provision for the management and conservation of forest and wildlife resources in Montserrat. It establishes the Forestry, Wildlife, National Parks and Protected Areas Board and the Environmental Fund. The Board shall, among other things, advise the Minister and review and revise the national forest, wildlife and national parks plan. The Act also provides for the appointment of an Environmental Officer and defines functions of this public office.The Governor in Council may by Order published in the Gazette declare an area of land to be a Forest Reserve or Protected Forest or land or and/or water to be a Conservation Area. The Environmental Officer shall prepare a forest management plan for each protected area. The Governor in Council may by Order published in the Gazette declare an area of land to be a national park and any private land declared to be a national park shall be acquired by the Crown under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act. The Act further provides for, among other things, survey and classification of wildlife, an agreement to manage private land as protected forest, wildlife licences and leases of land within national parks system, and provides rules relative to various activities in protected areas.
Amended by: Miscellaneous Amendments (Constitution of Montserrat) Act, 2011 (No. 9 of 2011). (2011-08-17)
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English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts first settled on Montserrat in 1632; the first African slaves arrived three decades later. The British and French fought for possession of the island for most of the 18th century, but it finally was confirmed as a British possession in 1783. The island's sugar plantation economy was converted to small farm landholdings in the mid-19th century. Much of this island was devastated and two-thirds of the population fled abroad because of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano that began on 18 July 1995.