Douglas Shire Council is mapping and recording GPS locations of all coconut trees in the Shire as part of preparations for a comprehensive Coconut Palm Management Strategy.
The Coconut Palm Management Strategy, to be released later this year after community consultation, will help Council identify the role that coconut palms play in any specific location through assessment and classification based on their location and contribution to a given area.
With more than 4000 mature seed-producing coconut palms identified already in Port Douglas alone, the Coconut Palm Management Strategy is the most comprehensive assessment of coconut palms ever undertaken in the Douglas Shire.
Infrastructure Manager Megan Hawke said Council recognises the value placed on coconut palms by the community and explained how the strategy will assist in managing their maintenance.
“Coconut palms are an integral component of the aesthetics of the Douglas Shire and provide benefits in relation to the look and feel of the tropical environment, as well as providing benefits to the tourism industry,” Ms Hawke said.
“The Coconut Palm Management Strategy will give Council a comprehensive understanding of what is required to preserve and enhance that contribution.
“Council needs to take a practical and balanced approach to coconut management that addresses issues such as risk mitigation, financial responsibility, conservation, aesthetics and plant maintenance and health.”
Ms Hawke said the community should not be concerned if they see a coconut palm marked with white paint.
“This is merely to indicate the coconut palm has been already mapped as part of the strategy,” Ms Hawke said.
The community will have an opportunity to comment on the draft Coconut Palm Management Strategy once it is completed later this year.