In December the Goa government ruled that the coconut tree isn't really a tree. The extraordinary decision was defended by the administration as a measure for the common good. If it's not a tree, you don't need permission from the forest department to hack it down.
The whole idea, presumably, was not to let environmental concerns come in the way of corporates – read distilleries – making the most of the coconut. Soon after this decision was taken a Goan newspaper, The Herald, reported on one immediate beneficiary of this decision – a company called Vani Agro which has been allowed to build a distillery in Sangeum taluka in the southern part of the state on a plot with around 500 palm trees on it.
And so this English and Konkani song by singer Friz Love, who pleads "Goa, save coconut tree, Goa, save your identity". In the description accompanying the video, put up on his Facebook page, he adds, "Let the message go to all. I love my Goa this is my little contribution to save Goa and to make Goans aware about the same."
"The palm is highly valued in the state", a report by Pamela D'Mello for Scroll.in says. "Coconut is used in curries, desserts and for oil. Its sap is turned into vinegar, toddy and feni. Shells are used for ladles, while the husk becomes coir for fuel and to stuff mattresses. The wood is turned into rafters and the fronds are used as thatching for roofs."
The state has an extensive cover of coconut trees which, until the December decision by the Goan cabinet, could not be cut without permission under the Goa Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, 1984.