The state cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to amend the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984 for inclusion of coconut palm as tree and ‘state tree’.
It was also for exempting commercial tree plantations from the provisions of the Act.
As per the cabinet note, the state government has decided to include coconut palm as tree in the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984 to regulate felling of coconut trees.
In the 2008 amendment to this Act, a new Section 1-A was inserted to include coconut as tree under the Act, but was omitted later in amendment done in 2016 as it was leading to some confusion.
Hence, it is now deemed appropriate to include coconut palm in the definition of the tree under Section 2(j) in Chapter 1 of the Act.
The government has also decided to declare coconut as ‘state tree.’
Since there is no provision at present in the Act to declare a tree as a ‘state tree,’ a new Section 7A, which shall define the ‘state tree,’ is being included.
Further, there is no special provision in case a horticulturist/farmer wants to replace existing coconut trees, which are non-productive or which can cause damage to property and endanger lives.
Hence, a new Section 8A after Section 2 is proposed to be included to appoint agriculture officers and issue guidelines for management of coconut plantations for aforesaid purpose.
The cabinet note stated that further, there is no existing provision to exempt commercial tree plantations from the provisions of Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984, which may have been discouraging people from raising plantations of commercially profitable tree species.
Hence, it is proposed to insert a new Section 32A exempting cultivation for commercial plantations, with appropriate guidelines.