• Location:

    Third largest island of the Greater Antilles of the West Indies, island in the Caribbean Sea, situated south of Cuba.

  • Area:

    Total: 10,991 sq km
    Land: 10,831 sq km
    Water: 160 sq km

  • Coastline:

    1,022 km

  • Maritime Claims (measured from claimed archipelagic baselines):

    Exclusive Economic Zone: 200 NM
    Territorial Sea: 12 NM
    Continental Shelf: 200 NM or to edge of the continental margin
    Contiguous Zone: 24 NM

  • Natural Resources:

    Bauxite, Gypsum, Limestone


  • Population: 2,695,867 (July 2003 est.)
  • Nationality: noun: Jamaican(s); adjective: Jamaican
  • Ethnic groups: black 90.9%, East Indian 1.3%, white 0.2%, Chinese 0.2%, mixed 7.3%, other 0.1%
  • Religions: Protestant 61.3% (Church of God 21.2%, Baptist 8.8%, Anglican 5.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 9%, Pentecostal 7.6%, Methodist 2.7%, United Church 2.7%, Brethren 1.1%, Jehovah's Witness 1.6%, Moravian 1.1%), Roman Catholic 4%, other, including some spiritual cults 34.7%
  • Languages: English, patois English


  • Country name: conventional short form: Jamaica
  • Government type: constitutional parliamentary democracy
  • Capital: Kingston
  • Administrative divisions: 14 parishes; Clarendon, Hanover, Kingston, Manchester, Portland, Saint Andrew, Saint Ann, Saint Catherine, Saint Elizabeth, Saint James, Saint Mary, Saint Thomas, Trelawny, Westmoreland
  • International organization participation: ACP, C, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G-15, G-19, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO


  • Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7% (2002 est.)
  • Industries: tourism, bauxite, textiles, food processing, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products
  • Agriculture - products: sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, potatoes, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk
  • Exports: $1.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
  • Exports - commodities: alumina, bauxite; sugar, bananas, rum
  • Imports: $3.1 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
  • Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, fuel, food, chemicals, fertilizers
  • Currency: Jamaican Dollar (JMD)

National Policy:

    • Marine Affairs Policy

      An Interagency Marine Policy Committee was establish in 1995. The Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs heads this Committee. The purpose of this committee its to develop and implement a system of policies, programmes and activities that collectively result in the sustainable development and management of Jamaica’s ocean and coastal resources. A Policy Framework for Coastal and Ocean Sustainable Development and Management has been drafted.


    • Marine Science & Research Policy


    • Coastal Area Policy

      A coastal zone management unit exists within the natural resources conservation authority. This unit has the responsibility to develop and implement and integrated coastal zone management program. A manual for the integrated planning and management of the coastal zone has been develop. Policies related to the protection of mangrove and coastal wetland, coral reef and beaches has been developing, a number of development guide lines has also been develop. A green paper on a system of Parks and protected area has also been develop.


  • Environment Policy

    With the passage of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act in 1991, a comprehensive and integrated legal instrument for environmental management in Jamaica was created. The Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act establish the Natural Resources Conservation Authority as a legal entity with power and responsibilities far wider than those vested under acts related to wildlife, beach control and watershed protection. The NRCA exists to provide the management framework for the conservation, protection and sustainable use of Jamaica Natural Resources. In collaboration with partners in the private and public sectors. The Jamaica environmental action Plan JANEAP, 1995, JANEAP status report 1997, is supported by the following policies: land policy, industrial policy, water resources policy, science and technology policy and the energy policy.

Institutional Structure:

      Centre of Marine Sciences


      University of the West Indies


      Department of Zoology, Faculty of Natural Sciences


      Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica


      Telephone: (1-809)977-1033 Cable: UNIVERS

      Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory (DBML)


      University of the West Indies


      P.O. Box 35, Discovey Bay, St Ann, Jamaica


      Telephone: (1-809) 973-2241 Cable: UNIVERS Telex: 2123


      Telefax/facsimile: (1-809)973-3091

      Fisheries Division


      Ministry of Agriculture


      Telephone: 923-8811-13 Fax: 923-8811

      Natural Resources and Conservation Division (NRCD)


      Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning


      53 1 / 2 Molynes Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica


      Telephone: (1-809)923-5155-5070 Telefax/facsimile: (1-809) 923-5166

      Survey Department, Ministry of Finance, Development and Planning


      Marcus Garvey Drive, P.O. Box 470 Kingston, Jamaica


      Telephone: (1-809) 922-6630

      Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica


      36 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10


      Telephone: 929-5380-84 Fax: 929-2409

National Focal Point for IOCARIBE

      Mr. Anthony McKenzie




      Strategic Planning and Policies Branch




      10 Caledonia Avenue, Kingston5




      Tel: (876) 754 7540/3 Ext 2334


      Fax: (876) 754 7594


      Cel: (876) 894 8941


    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For updated information about Jamaica visit their Central Intelligence Agency Factsheet.