Coconut regains tree status in Goa as Assembly passes bill
The Assembly passed the Goa, Daman and Diu (Preservation of) Trees Act, 1984 to regulate felling of coconut trees and reclassify it as a tree.
Goa Legislative Assembly on 7 August 2017 passed Goa, Daman and Diu, Preservation of Trees Act, 1984. The bill seeks to reclassify coconut as a tree and ensure legal protection to it.
The bill was passed to regulate felling of coconut trees and reclassify it as a tree on the last day of the Monsoon session of the state.
Goa Forward Party, a partner in the Manohar Parrikar-led government, had promised to reclassify coconut as a tree. The previous Laxmikant Parsekar-led government had changed the classification of the coconut tree to a palm.
The bill was needed as the previous BJP-led coalition government in Goa was accused of amending the Goa Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees act 1984 in 2016 and dropping the tree status accorded to the coconut tree. They accused that the action was taken to hasten real estate and industrial development at the cost of environment.
Green activists claimed that it would make it easy to cut down coconut trees indiscriminately in the coastal state as it would require no formal permission.