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 videoshowing how the virgin forest in Karelia were logged.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Sports in the Barents region have joined forces and established Barents Games. This weekend athletes from all over the region met in Oulu to compete in 14 differents sports during the Barents Summer Games. See our slide show from the competitions.
People participating in culture-, sport and Barents cooperation projects can from October apply for visa to Norway without paying a single ruble, says Marit Egholm Jacobsen with the Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk.