IKEA desolates old-growth forests

I’ve grown up with IKEA. My first real bed was named VIKARE. When writing this, I’m sitting in a SKRUVSTA chair, laptop on a VIKA desk-solution which stands next to my RAKKE bed with a SULTAN mattress, on top of which there is a KRYP GRÄS blanket and behind me is, of course – a BILLY bookcase. I’m so damn swedish! XD Completely surrounded by IKEA furniture. Why?

The answer is – good quality at a low price. That’s at least what we consumers think. Because in reality it is:

Low Prices – At ANY Cost

This has recently come to my knowledge. Actually, I got to know about it just an hour ago, watching morning TV. There has been rumours about where IKEA gets their wood. Therefore a swedish tv-team went to the old forests of northwestern Russia, to find out if the rumours were true. They were, of course. So, even though IKEA are marketing themselves as an environmental-friendly company, saying their wood isn’t harming the environment, even though they’re friends with both the FSC*and WWF** and so on – they’re actually cutting down (CHOP! CHOP! ~tree screaming AAAAA!!!) forests as old as 500 years, at this very moment.

Forest Stewardship Council

** World Wildlife Fund

Let me introduce you to Karelia, the place where the swedish tv-team went. Here we have beautiful, untouched nature, with trees that has been standing here since the last ice-age. Forests like these are not supposed to be cut down. Forests like these are not just popping up every now and then and they’ve become a rarity. The forests of Karelia, are like the rainforests, which you’ve heard of for sure. They are both homes for hundreds of different species, living in a special balance – the only difference is the location and type (there are not the same tree-types etc.).

Most of it is russian territory. The republic of Karelia is located in Russia, which means that it's owned by the russian government. The russian government lets IKEA rent parts of Karelia and cut down forest there.

This is what things look like after IKEA/Swedwood been there:

Photo © Daniel Rutchman

Photo © Robert Svensson

Photo © Robert Svensson

Photo © Robert Svensson

For more evidence and pictures – go visit protect the forest here.

It is a cruel crime against nature, against ourselves in the long run, to do something like this. We can’t just cut down all forests just because we want new furniture, trees are what provides us with oxygen. No oxygen = no humans and then new furniture doesn’t even matter anymore.

It is not just about cutting down the forests. See, Swedwood*** moves around. They go to a forest, hire locals who cut down the forest for them at a pretty small cost and then they leave with the wood, ready to go to the next forest and do the same thing. What’s left then? Clearcuts and people with no jobs. What are they going to do? There can’t be any tourism because the forest is gone and there can’t be anyone maintaining the forest because… it is gone. Why do people agree on doing this job then? Well – they had a tough life in the first place, but IKEA/Swedwood doesn’t give a damn about that, no.

*** Swedwood is a “Daughter-company”, meaning an underlying/associated/affiliated company to IKEA. IKEA says that they know what Swedwood is doing and that it is not desolation, instead they claim that Swedwood has developed responsible forestry in the area. Not exactly what’s shown in the pictures, right?

If you’re against this, perhaps shivering a bit like I did when seeing the pictures, there are things to do. You can go to protect the forest and sign here. It is probably the easiest thing to do as a regular consumer. Only 10% of the ancient forest in Karelia remains, this has got to be stopped.

Note 1. As you can see the pictures are not mine. Contact me if there are any problems with this.

Note 2. See! I had to make a completely new category for this!