The Forestry Unit (FU)
Ministry Of Agriculture Headquarters
The Forestry Unit, which is responsible for wildlife, falls under the department of Agriculture. The Forestry Unit is the official governmental agency in Antigua & Barbuda that is responsible for the conservation and management of the nation’s terrestrial biological diversity.
The Role Of The Forestry Unit
- The Forestry Division has responsibility for managing the country’s forest and woodland areas and for reforestation. The primary instrument for management of the upper watersheds is the Forestry Ordinance (cap 99 1941), which provides for the establishment of forest reserves, the granting of permits for harvesting forest resources, and clearing.
- Apart from the prohibition of forest clearing on steep slopes, the regulations of the Forest Law are almost completely ignored and exploitation for fuel, wood and charcoal on both government and private lands is virtually uncontrolled. However, the Forestry Division does not have the manpower to enforce these ordinances, even assuming that there was a supportive policy.
- In recent years, the Division has taken on activities more related to biodiversity conservation and to eco-tourism development, reflecting a more environmentally conscious thrust from the newly trained staff. Forest officers now regularly lead paxs on forest hikes.