The coconut has been called the "Tree of Life" because of its incredible quality to provide nourishment, shelter, toiletries, and livelihood for countless communities worldwide. As we strive to achieve the 17 SDGs, we must recognize the potential of the coconut tree to contribute to sustainable development across multiple dimensions.

First and foremost, we must recognize the potential of the coconut industry to alleviate poverty (SDG 1) and hunger (SDG 2). Through the promotion of sustainable coconut farming, integrated coconut industries, development of marketable and profitable products,   and fair wages for farmers, we can contribute to the economic wellbeing of millions of farmers and other people in coconut-producing regions. Coconut palm is grown on more than 12 million hectares in more than 90 countries and consumed by people in more than 110 countries worldwide.  The outlook for coconut is positive, as global demand continues to rise. Furthermore, coconuts are a versatile source of nutrition, providing essential nutrients that can support food security and public health (SDG 3).

To create a truly sustainable industry, we must foster gender equality (SDG 5) and ensure that both male and female workers have equal opportunities and fair wages. The theme of the International Women's Day of 2023 is “Embrace Equity.” Equity is not only a great item to own, but also a must-have. Women have been involved in the entire coconut supply and value chain.  ICC in collaboration with member countries has committed to provide capacity building according to the relevant needs for women to optimize women’s participation in coconut development to ensure more inclusive future for all women.

Additionally, we must focus on providing decent work and promoting sustainable economic growth (SDG 8) by creating jobs, fostering innovation, and supporting entrepreneurship in the sector. About 100 million producers and workers in the industry and more than 700 million people have been fully engaged in coconut value chain.

Commitment to responsible production and consumption (SDG 12) is evident in our efforts to minimize waste and maximize resource efficiency. By utilizing every part of the coconut tree, from the husk to the fronds, we can create a circular economy that reduces waste and environmental impact. Moreover, the coconut industry can play a significant role in adapting and mitigating of the impacts of climate change (SDG 13) through its renewable (biofuel) and biodegradable products, contributions of the forest conservation, and serving as an effective carbon sink.

Finally, we must prioritize the protection of life on land (SDG 15) by embracing sustainable farming practices, such as agroforestry and organic farming, which contribute to biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. The development of good agricultural practices (GAP) for coconut and traceability system implemented has the potential to support the achievement of SDG 15.

To achieve these goals, the International Coconut Community has undertaken and remains committed to facilitating knowledge sharing, capacity building, research and development support, advocating for progressive policies, fostering strategic partnerships, and monitoring progress.

Apart from the benefits that coconuts offer, the industry has had to overcome several challenges including but not limited to the impact of the extreme climate events, disruptions in supply, demand, and export flows and inadequate technical and policy supports.  As the relative challenges increase, strategic partnerships become imperative.  The International Coconut Community calls on all stakeholders to collaborate with us on this important effort. Together, let us harness the power of the coconut industry to achieve the multiple sustainable development goals.

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