Categories: conservation

Ikea allegedly implicated in illegal deforestation of lynx habitat

Vicariously, Ikea has been accused of illegal logging of forests in Ukraine where Eurasion lynx live. This harms the conservation prospects of this precious species of medium-sized wild cat.

Ikea is investigating claims that some of it wood suppliers are illegally cutting down trees such as beech trees from old growth forests. Beech is used in the manufacture of some of its most popular products including the slatted Terje chair. The accusations comes from Earthsight, a UK-based non-profit. It says that it has documented many breaches of the law including the logging trees outside the area of a supplier’s licensed logging. This has occurred during the lynx breeding season for endangered birds and mammals which is banned.

Börje beech chair. Photos: IKEA. Words added by PoC.

The IKEA supplier VGSM is allegedly linked to some of these breaches. They provide the Börje beech chairs sold in the UK. Earthsight claim that VGSM is involved in illegal logging at ten sites according to Ukrainian officials.

The Forest Stewardship Council say that IKEA products are sustainably sourced. Through their auditors they have a cosy relationship with timber suppliers claims Earthsight.

IKEA say they have begun an immediate investigation. If they find wrongdoing they many terminate contracts to supply timber and products. VGSM has rejected Earthsight’s accusations. They say they fully comply with FSC requirements.

Wolf encounters Eurasian lynx in Belarus. Photo: Believed to be Vadim Sidorovich.

Comment: “Cosy relationships” between organisations and individuals involved in wildlife conservation and big business is commonplace. It is the way businesses circumvent regulations which hinder their businesses. Many businesses rely on the abuse of natural resources to remain competitive.

It is the reason why ivory is still traded, tigers parts are still traded internationally and the same goes for all wild life animal body parts. I accuse the IUCN Red List of the same cosiness in their dealings with businesses. It results in them providing outdated information, a lack of information and classifications as to endangerment of fauna which encourages sport hunting. The IUCN Red List is presiding over the 6th mass extinction. I accuse them of silently supporting it.

I will also take this opportunity to accuse the business Oak Furniture Land of using illegally sourced oak. Customers don’t consider the implications. They see nice furniture. They don’t think about how long it takes for an oak tree to grow which is hundreds of years. How can oak be sustainable? It is impossible.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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