WWF and IKEA are committed to making responsible forest management the norm across the forest sector.
By managing and protecting forests, tackling threats such as forest degradation, supporting laws that combat illegal trade in timber, and helping people buy and use wood wisely, our aim is to ensure forests and the people that depend on them, have a healthy future.
Starting with five forest projects in 2002, we now have nine joint projects in fifteen different countries. These have helped improve forest management in Europe and Asia, and contributed to the certification of around 35 million hectares of responsibly managed forest.
Many challenges remain but together, WWF and IKEA are demonstrating how forest stewardship is good for business, livelihoods, and forests.
What started as a gathering of small forest plantation owners in Central Vietnam has grown into a model of sustainable forestry that the Deputy Prime Minister recently recommended to be replicated nationwide — a notable achievement thanks to a collaboration between the provincial government, Vietnamese smallholders, WWF and IKEA. This successful forestry model is benefiting local livelihoods while protecting forests and bringing more sustainable products into the global marketplace, an example of what is possible when a global company, an NGO and smallholders work together.
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Thousands of amazing species live in sustainably managed forests in the Tahuamanu Province of the Madre de Dios region in the Peruvian Amazon. The majority of the forests in this region are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) which assures the wildlife and habitats in those forests are being safeguarded. Cameras and sound recorders were installed to monitor and study its thriving wildlife.
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Listening to the Forest
From birdsongs to the calls of frogs, the buzzing of billions of insects or the cries of monkeys, the sounds of tropical forests make up a rich symphony. But does logging cause a discord, or is it possible to harvest timber while preserving this harmony?
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In the Danube-Carpathian Region, sometimes referred to as the Green Heart of Europe, the partnership between WWF and IKEA works to promote responsible and sustainable forest management practices; climate-resilient forests; and biodiversity rich forest landscapes to provide a full range of ecosystem services and goods for the well-being of local communities. Originally focused just in Romania, our cooperation in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region now stretches across 4 countries.
An important milestone for the sustainable forest management of beech tree forest has been achieved in the Russian Caucasus as the largest forest leaseholder of Adygea forests, JSC Forest, has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The procedure was implemented in the framework of the WWF-IKEA Partnership and initiated by IKEA with support of WWF-Russia. The Russian Caucasus is the only territory in Russia with beech tree forest.
A new landscape reserve has been established in the Russian Arkhangelsk region after 17 years of advocacy by WWF-Russia and other environmental NGO´s, with financial support from corporate partners such as IKEA . The secured area will protect 300 000 hectares of rapidly disappearing Northern taiga, the last large array of intact forests in Europe.
A pest introduced before the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia almost obliterated the ancient Buxus colchica tree – but efforts to bring it back are growing. The Buxus colchica is one of the few tree species in the world to survive the Ice Age without any changes. A rare tree species, the Buxus colchica grew in forests across Eurasia and had remained unchanged for 20 million years. The trees are part of boxwood forests, a distinctive feature of the Caucasus mountain range that was still forming around the time the Buxus colchica tree first appeared.
Low-impact logging practices in commercial tropical forests can contribute to wildlife protection and complement protected areas to provide habitat for many species in the Amazon, according to new research published in Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. The research, conducted in Tahuamanu Province, Madre de Dios region in Peru, evaluated the impact of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified forest management on biodiversity. The findings reveal that FSC-certified concessions have a greater richness of species such as amphibians, insects and monkeys than non-FSC certified logging concessions, and that the make-up of species in FSC-certified sites is more similar to undisturbed forest areas than non-certified logging sites.
The 2019 Timber Scorecard – the last in a three-part series – assesses businesses on their timber product sourcing policies and performance and assigns each a score from 0 Trees (no/limited evidence of policies in place) to 3 Trees (performing well against procurement policies). In doing so, the Scorecard aims to stimulate further transparency, inform consumers and support national and international commitments in the procurement of sustainably sourced timber products.
The WWF and IKEA partnership has contributed to the development of regulations aimed at protecting biodiversity in one of Russia’s biodiversity-rich regions, Caucasus. Currently IKEA does not source wood from the region, however, they are committed to contributing to a greater good that goes beyond the company’s own needs. Regulation is a critical element for responsible forest management and the FSC certification in turn makes the wood sourced from Caucasus more competitive and attractive to buyers, similar to IKEA.
WWF welcomes the decision of the Ukrainian Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources to approve a methodology for the identification and conservation of primeval, old-growth, and natural forests. In recent years, WWF in Ukraine with the support of IKEA, DEG and the Succow Foundation — have completed extensive work for the preliminary identification of virgin and old growth forests in the Ukrainian Carpathians.
Ikea sharpens focus on renewable and recyclable materials that will contribute to a circular society. New design ideas will make it possible to repair, reuse and reassemble IKEA products – giving them a longer life and endowing them with an elevated emotional value for customers.
Vietnam is one of the world’s largest exporters of wood and wood products. Overall exports in 2016 were valued at nearly $7 billion. Yet its forests, ravaged by war and degraded by logging and land clearance, contain almost no untouched primary forest and the country imports a significant amount of timber, some still from unsustainable sources that drive deforestation in neighbouring countries. A joint venture with home furnishing giant and WWF corporate partner, IKEA, SBARP promotes responsible production by small-scale producers across Vietnam, Lao PDR and Cambodia, supports government forest restoration plans and helps the private sector meet legal requirements.
In Europe, we often look to the great tropical rainforests of the world for beauty, inspiration and diversity. Yet on our doorstep there is still natural heritage beyond compare. Forest Stewardship Council certification (FSC) and World Heritage recognition are both critical in the fight for Europe’s ancient beech forests. Protecting this heritage is as much a socio-economic and cultural endeavour as it is a scientific one, requiring a marriage of commerce and conservation. And this is precisely the approach that WWF has pursued for more than a decade in partnership with local communities, business and government, IKEA included.
WWF and IKEA are starting a new project in Thailand to identify opportunities for smallholders to manage responsible rubber plantations and harvest wood from rubber trees. Once successful approaches are established, the partnership will support stronger legislation and improved certification criteria that help smallholders.
IKEA, FSC and WWF cooperate with smallholder farmers growing to ensure that Acacia is grown in a way that is better for the environment and for the local communities. Together we contribute successfully to forest community development and promise a more sustainable future for our forests.
Recognising we can’t protect or manage what we don’t know, a decade ago, WWF and IKEA set out to map High Conservation Value (HCV) forest in Russia. The result is a powerful digital tool that reveals forest values and helps reconcile competing needs for the benefit of all stakeholders.
IKEA’s expanded IWAY Forestry Standard now covers bamboo, rattan and paper, adding almost 5m m3 RWE to its scope, and demonstrating the power of partnership.
“IKEA and WWF share objectives on the sustainable use of natural resources. With deep expertise in forests, cotton and water – all important raw materials for IKEA – WWF is a natural partner on our journey towards being People and Planet Positive and delivering on our ambitious sustainability goals.”
Lena Pripp-Kovac, Sustainability Manager,
IKEA Range & Supply
Strong, light, flexible, attractive and renewable – wood is the ultimate raw material. No one knows this better than global home furnishings giant IKEA. One of the biggest users of timber in the retail sector, a full two thirds of the company’s product sales contain wood. And yet while we all enjoy the affordable Scandinavian style IKEA brings to our homes, we perhaps don’t often stop to think about what’s behind the innovative design and the flatpack.
In the foothills of Vietnam’s Annamite mountains, hundreds of small forest owners are joining forces to produce sustainable acacia used in furniture around the world. With much of the country’s plantations owned by individuals, expanding the approach may be the best chance for saving forests in the Greater Mekong
How WWF and IKEA are marrying commerce and conservation in Maramureș, Romania, and helping protect some of Europe’s last remaining old growth Forests.
Photographs by iLCP Fellow James Morgan, words by Justin Woolford for WWF.
Rattan is a palm that grows in the tropical regions of Africa and Asia. Its many uses include furniture-making, handicrafts and building. A naturally renewable non-timber forest product (NTFP) that’s relatively easy to harvest, it can help alleviate pressure on natural forests by providing local communities with an alternative source of income. However, over-harvesting and land conversion are causing a rapid decline of natural rattan.
”The forest was left to us by our ancestors. We should take good care of it. Only when we look after it can it look after us.” Ye Linchang is a forest ranger near Shufang Town, in Northern Fujiang Province. He’s seen first-hand the difference FSC certification can make in people’s lives. When the Longtai Company took over the contract for the local bamboo forests in 2013, lives changed. Longtai is a supplier for IKEA and has to match up to the Swedish giant’s rigorous requirements – one of which is, wherever possible, FSC certification. With the support of WWF and Chinese government agencies, Longtai worked with local producers to help them improve their operations and meet the standard.
IKEA’s 2015 catalogue, which reaches over 200 million people worldwide, is the largest print production ever to be fully FSC certified involving the coordination of printing 67 editions in 32 languages, and the use of more than 100,000 tonnes of FSC Mix Credit certified paper.
WWF and IKEA have been partners since 2002, with forests the heart of our work together. WWF and IKEA strongly support FSC but they also stress that the General Assembly must take a close look at FSC’s priorities. Where can FSC have the biggest impact on forests and people and how can it become even more efficient?
Spanning more than a decade the WWF and IKEA partnership has transformed the forestry sector by expanding the market for more sustainable products.