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IKEA logging in Karelia not sustainable

Photo: Atle Staalesen

IKEA subsidiary Swedwood has lost is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate on logging in Karelia.

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The environmental groups Save the Forest Sweden and Field Biologists (Nature and Youth Sweden) have for a long time criticized Swedwood for cutting down trees in one of Europe’s last remaining virgin forests.

The operation has been certified by the global organization Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), who promotes responsible forest management worldwide. But according to the organization’s last report on Swedwood Karelia, the certification requirements were not met.

“We have won! FSC has decided to withdraw its certificate for IKEA’s unscrupulous logging of the Russian virgin wood”, Sara Vikstrøm Olsson from the Field Biologists says in a press release. Protect the Forest documented that Ikea, through Swedwood, had clear-cut areas of old-growth forest containing 200-600 year-old trees in the northwest of Karelia, near the Finnish border, a process that is having deep ramifications on the invaluable forest ecosystems.

The belt of virgin forest in Russia, together with the tropical rainforests along the equator, performs vital functions for life on earth: forest belts bind huge amounts of carbon dioxide and are home to hundreds of thousands of unique animal and plant species.

In 2012 Swedish TV’s program “Updrag granskning” – a Swedish version of 60 minutes – posted a video showing how the virgin forest in Karelia were logged.