180 000 petition for IKEA
to stop logging
As reported earlier this year by both Swedish and German public television and environmental NGO:s, intact primeval forests are being logged by Ikea in Russian Karelia, which has led to an international outrage against the furniture giant. On Friday, Protect the Forest handed over a petition with 180 000 signatures to Ikea demanding that the company should keep their environmental promises to their customers, and stop logging forests with high conservation values.
People from countries such as Sweden, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, and Belgium have signed the petition, which was made by Protect the Forest and the partner organizations SumOfUs and Rainforest Rescue. The petition was handed over to Ikea at a meeting with environmental NGOs from Sweden and Russia.
“Right now, Ikea is continuing to log inside some of Europe’s most important intact forests. This is not acceptable, which is clearly underlined by this massive storm of protests”, says Viktor Säfve, chairperson of Protect the Forest, a Swedish environmental organization.
Initiators of the meeting were Protect the Forest, Friends of the Earth Sweden, the Karelia Regional Nature Conservancy SPOK and Greenpeace Russia. The four NGOs demand that Ikea stop logging inside valuable areas, and have summed up the criticism in a joint statement which was handed over to Ikea at the meeting. Representatives from the Swedish WWF also attended, as guests of Ikea. WWF have not signed the demands.
“Ikea has claimed that the criticism from Protect the Forest is extreme and does not have the support of the Russian environmental movement,” says Alexander Markovsky, chairman of SPOK. “At the meeting, we made it clear that the criticism is also voiced by Russians. Ikea’s first mistake was to lease forests with so much high conservation values.”
Ikea claims that logging old growth boreal forests is both sustainable and responsible, referring to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.
“Ikea continues to hide behind the FSC label, which in reality does not secure that valuable forests are being spared,” says Linda Ellegaard Nordström, board member of Protect the Forest. “The company has not yet given any concrete guarantees that customers can be sure that no old-growth pines are turned into cheap Ikea furniture. We will await Ikea’s answer to the demands from the environmental NGOs and the 180 000 people who have urged Ikea to change. The campaign will continue. Everyone who has not yet signed the petition on our website, please do so now!”
Linda Ellegaard Nordström, board member of Protect the Forest +46 70 25 411 48
Alexander Markovsky, chairman of SPOK +79 602 15 11 22
Viktor Säfve, chairman of Protect the Forest +46 76 11 488 11
During year 2010 and 2011 , Protect the Forest went to Russian Karelia to examine Ikea/Swedwood’s loggings. In April of 2012, the Swedish TV program “Uppdrag granskning” reported on IKEA’s logging of old-growth forest and other forests with high conservation value in Russian Karelia. After that, Protect the Forest launched a campaign, demanding of Ikea to improve.
At www.protecttheforest.se/ikea the joint statement from the four environmantal NGO:s can be read, as well as the petition which 180 000 people have signed. The petition is aimed at the management of Ikea’s wholly owned subsidiary Swedwood, which conducts Ikea’s loggings in Russian Karelia.
Free press photos: here