For almost 25 years the coconut palm was not classified as a tree. But an amendment 2008 gave it a status of tree. Recent cancellation/neutralization of that change has caused a furor across Goa.
During the amendment of the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act of 1984 in 2008, the coconut palm was given a status as a tree under section 1 A. This did not exist in the previous act statement. Section 1 A and section 12 A made provision to remove or dispose any tree under the circumstances that it would cause harm or danger to life and property.
This amendment provided protection to trees, in the sense that a tree cannot be removed or uprooted without prior permission from the forest department.
Recent changes to the act took place, wherein the status of a ‘tree’ was taken away from the coconut palm. Thereby possibly endangering the species due to there being an undeniable threat of them being felled very easily now. As cutting of the coconut palm will not need permission from the forest department, this might look bad in the eye of an environmentalist in consideration towards the environment.
The coconut tree is a vital part of our Goans lives, almost all of it is used for various purposes. The wood from the bark is used as roofs for homes and its fruit is used in many Goan dishes. The coconut toddy is used to make the state drink-‘Feni’ also the leaves are woven and used in many ways as well.