The world’s largest furniture retailer, IKEA, is helping in the fight against climate change by preserving vital forestland.
Ingka Group, who owns and operates most IKEA retail stores, just purchased 10,890 acres of forestland in southeast Georgia near the Altamaha River Basin to keep it from being developed.
The land is home to hundreds of plant and wildlife species, including the endangered longleaf pine and gopher tortoises. Ingka Group promises to protect the land from fragmentation, restore the longleaf pine forest, and safe-guard the habitat of the gopher tortoise .
Longleaf pines once stretched across 90 million acres from southern Virginia to Florida, covering over half of Georgia, but are now endangered with only 4% remaining. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service state land clearing for development and agriculture, fire suppression, and the conversion of tree farms to short-rotation pines are to blame.
Dozens of plant and animal species rely on the longleaf ecosystem, including one of the oldest living species – the gopher tortoise. The native southeastern tortoise is considered a keystone species because it digs deep burrows that provide shelter to hundreds of animals. There are only 700,000 remaining in the world and are considered vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss.
The preservation of longleaf ecosystems, like the forest Ingka just purchased, will save the lives of hundreds of species and help reduce the amount of carbon in the air.
The property was originally bought by The Conservation Fund, a non-profit conservation organization which has protected more than eight million acres of land in the U.S., and sold to Ingka due to their responsible forest management.
“We are delighted to continue our forestland acquisitions in the U.S. With this new acquisition, we own roughly 55,000 hectares (136,000 acres) in five states – Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma. This investment in Georgia is special to us as our partners from The Conservation Fund understood our long-term vision and have entrusted us to ensure the protection of the forestland,” said Krister Mattsson, Managing Director Ingka Investments.
The investment group knows that trees are vital in the fight against climate change and have planted seven million seedlings around the world.
IKEA is working towards being a carbon neutral company by 2030. In addition to acquiring and protecting forestland, they have set an ambitious goal of 100% zero-emission home deliveries in all markets by 2025.
“We need to find new ways to be part of the solution, not the problem,” said Angela Hultberg, Sustainable Mobility leader, Ingka Group.
How You Can Help!
Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the last remaining temperate rainforest in the world, is at risk and we need to protect it. Sign the petition below to reinstate the Roadless Rule and protect the essential forest for people, animals, and the planet.Whizzco