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NGO report alleges IKEA is selling furniture made from wood illegally felled in Ukrainian forests; incl. comments by company & suppliers

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25 June 2020

Flatpacked forests: IKEA’s illegal timber problem and the flawed green label behind it

Author: Earthsight

Earthsight’s 18-­month-­long investigation has found that Ikea is selling beech chairs made from wood which was illegally felled in the forests of the Ukrainian Carpathians, home to endangered lynx and bear. Illegal wood has been used to make a number of well­-known products, including its iconic folding, slatted Terje chair and best­-selling Ingolf dining chair. Tens of thousands of chairs made from illegal wood are being sold at Ikea stores across the globe each year, including in the US, UK and Germany. This illegal harvesting is being enabled by the corrupt state-owned forestry enterprises which run most of Ukraine’s forests. Continued illegal logging to supply Ikea’s beech chairs was even detected by Earthsight during the worldwide Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown of April 2020...

[also refers to VGSM, Plimob & Egger]

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25 June 2020

IKEA to review its Ukrainian wood supply after critical report

Author: Reuters (UK)

Furniture retailer IKEA said...it would review its wood supply chain in Ukraine after a report by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) alleged illegal logging in the Carpathian mountains...The report by Earthsight alleged IKEA suppliers illegally sourced wood used in some of the Swedish company’s most popular chairs. “IKEA does not accept illegally logged wood in our products,” the flat-pack furniture specialist said in an emailed statement to Reuters. “We acknowledge that illegal logging remains a widespread global issue, and work proactively to implement measures to verify that our suppliers comply with legality,” it added, saying it had begun an independent audit into practices in Ukraine.

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25 June 2020

Ukraine: Environmentalists say illegal logging in Carpathian Mountains contributed to flooding that killed 3 people

Author: Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times

Floods Afflict Ukraine as It Tries to Control the Coronavirus, 24 June 2020

Rain-swollen rivers inundated towns, breached dams and stranded villagers in western Ukraine on Wednesday, in what officials called the region’s worst flooding in more than a decade — with the response this time complicated by the coronavirus epidemic. As the water rose, one hospital was partially evacuated, but left behind were those with Covid-19, in a rescue that Ukraine’s prime minister said was carried out very carefully to avoid spreading the contagion...Dams, bridges, dikes and roads were washed away in the Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Chernivtsi regions. More than 200 towns and villages flooded and roads to 34 settlements were cut off by high water, officials said. At least three people died, including two whose car was swept away in a roiling river, and one person is missing...[E]nvironmentalists say that years of illegal logging in the once-dense Carpathian forests have left the area prone to flooding...

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