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World Coconut Day 2020 Webinar: "Invest in Coconut to Save the World"

International Coconut Community, Jakarta Indonesia, organized a webinar on 2nd September to mark the occasion of World Coconut Day with the theme “Invest in Coconut to Save the World”. More than 200 participated remotely across the globe which includes the representatives from ICC and Cogent Member Countries, research institutes, private sectors, and international partner organizations of ICC.

The webinar started with a video launched on the profile of ICC and followed by the opening remarks from the Honorable Lopaoó Natanielu Muá, Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries, Samoa, ICC Chairman. In his message, he appreciated the activities taken up by ICC in this outbreak of pandemic COVID-19 and assured all his support. Chairman presented a clear picture of Coconut and its value-added products and encouraged the country government to support this crop and design more programs in their countries. He focused on the sustainable development of the coconut sector and maintaining the coconut plantations with proper management practices and develop advanced technologies to increase productivity and to compete with the growing demand for planting materials. The major problems faced in the sector, mainly pest and disease infestation, regular market availability was pointed out by him.

Dr. Jelfina C. Alouw, Executive Director, ICC, welcomed the participants and wish everybody a happy World Coconut Day 2020 and informed that this year theme  “ Invest in Coconut to Save the World” very well goes with the present scenario of Covid-19, which affected the sector directly and indirectly. She acknowledged the support of the member countries and other international partner organizations for the smooth functioning of the Community and she assured that in the future also we unite for the sustainable development of the sector.

Dr. P. Rethinam, Former ED, ICC, extended his warm wishes to ICC and the Community on World Coconut Day. He congratulated and appreciated the Executive Director for the novel way of celebrating the day by bringing the entire Community remotely. He presented the global scenario of the coconut industry and requested all to maintain the plantations by the scientific method of cultivation to increase the productivity and production.

The first resource speaker was Dr. Mary Newport, a Neonatologist from Florida, USA. She very precisely presented the Health Benefits of coconut oil and how coconut oil helps to manage Alzheimer’s and other diseases. She explained in detail the health benefits of VCO for the brain, the skin, and the immune system, especially in the present pandemic of COVID-19. She shared her experience in controlling the Alzheimer’s of her husband, Dr. Steve Newport.

Dr. Fabian Dayrit, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Ateneo de Manila University & Chairman

ICC Scientific Advisory Committee on Health (SACH) presented on the concept of the theme of the World coconut day i.e., we need the coconut to save the world. He presented the beneficial effects of Virgin Oil and its characteristics. Dr. Toby explained the scientific reasons to rebut against the negative impacts and the use of VCO against the COVID-19 and potential attributes of coconut oil. He shared the strategies against Covid-19 and solidarity studies of VCO. The protocol developed for the clinical trial proposed to be conducted by ICC with the help of ICC member countries. He shared the experience of a trial carried out with VCO against COVID-19 with the prisoners of Cebu Pacific.  

Dr. Pons, Chair, ICC Technical Working Group, briefly presented the ICC strategic plan and programs. He focused on the potential projects to be taken for the sustainable development of coconut.

The last speaker was Mr. Asep, Chief Executive Officer, Tom Coco, Bogor Indonesia. He spoke on Save the World by Coconut Charcoal. Charcoal is the healthiest source of bioenergy, having numerous uses. He is a big player in the Briquette industry. He presented how the industry is flourishing and having good demand in the export market. As we all coconut is the Tree of life, and each part of the coconut is being utilized. So, briquette made from coconut shell is a potential value-added from coconut and can be explored by each country where the shell is getting wasted. How simply he explained that we can save the environment by not cutting the forest by using coconut shell.

There was an in-depth discussion on the topics, and the speaker attended the queries. The webinar was moderated by Mr. Vincent Johnson, Interim COGENT coordinator, ICC

The webinar concluded with a closing summary by Mridula Kottekate, Assistant Director, ICC.

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