Daily Archives: May 28, 2012

IKEA Cuts Down Old Growth Forests

www.protecttheforest.se

Make your voice heard, send a letter to IKEA – Swedwood!

Background

Northern Europe had, until recently, large intact areas of old-growth forest. Remnants of these forests are located in a horseshoe shape running along the Scandes mountains in Norway and Sweden, up to the Lapp regions of northern Finland, and then to northwestern Russia.

But today only a small part of Fennoscandia’s old-growth forests remain. In Karelia, for example, only about 10% of the ancient old-growth forests remain* according to a survey by Russian conservation experts. Companies from other countries, such as the Swedish IKEA/Swedwood, have come to the region in search of cheap resources and are continually logging old-growth forest, in violation of the promises IKEA has made to their customers. Large clear-cuts are made in intact forest areas with centuries-old trees, and the invaluable forest ecosystems are rapidly shrinking. So-called silver firs which first sprouted many hundreds of years ago are being cut down. This kind of forestry can be compared to mining.

IKEA claims in its advertising that the wood they use has been obtained in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable way, and that customers do not need to worry that the furniture they buy might contain wood from old-growth forests.

This is a blatant lie – IKEA’s furniture does contain such wood. IKEA is deliberately misleading its customers, not least by hiding behind the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an environmental certification which has often been criticized and which has serious flaws.

Protect the Forest Sweden and Friends of the Earth Sweden have examined IKEA’s actions in Karelia during the last few years, and we have proof of our claims. We demand that IKEA stop lying, and that they abandon their plans to cut down further thousands of hectares of ancient old-growth forest in Russian Karelia and the rest of Russia.

If any company in the world has the capital and power to change their ways and do better, it is IKEA. If they wanted to, IKEA could influence policy makers and rival companies to stop logging old-growth forest, and instead adopt an environmentally sustainable forestry on lands which have already been logged in the past.

You, the reader, can protest IKEA’s actions by signing the following letter and sending it to the management of IKEA and Swedwood.

To the management of Swedwood and IKEA

I am writing to you because your logging in Russian Karelia worries me deeply. Since you are one of the world’s largest furniture companies and your timber consumption is very large, your actions affect not only humans and nature locally, but you affect forest ecosystems on a global level.

Because of your size, you need to take responsibility for both the environmental and social consequences of your actions. At the same time, you have the economic resources to actually take that responsibility.

I therefore appeal to you to:

1. Speak the truth!

2. Immediately cease the logging of forests with high conservation value

3. Ensure protection for the remaining old-growth forests on the Swedwood lands in Russian Karelia

4. Be a positive political force for environmental sustainability, instead of repeating old colonial patterns

5. Take steps towards a more trustworthy IKEA.

Regards,

[Editor’s note. Go here to sign the letter.]

Read a more detailed version of the demands below:

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Filed under activism, open letters, manifestos, appeals

Social Housing—Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice (book release)

Social Housing—Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice
Editors: Andrea Phillips and Fulya Erdemci

Published by SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain and Sternberg Press
June 2012, English
23.4 x 15.6 cm, 544 pages, b/w ill., softcover
ISBN 978-3-943365-17-7

www.skor.nl
www.sternberg-press.com

Social Housing—Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice examines ongoing transformations in social housing and asks how these transformations are reflected in the aspirations and practices of artists. Housing provides essential shelter, but also gives form to the social. It represents and embodies the materiality of civic politics and thus demonstrates the uneven nature of spatial justice at local and global scale. For many years artists have contributed to the design and organization of structures of living together, often with ambivalent effect. Whilst many have imagined—and attempted to implement—radical new forms of social housing, as alternatives to both privatization and state provision, they have also ushered in waves of gentrification, thus contributing significantly to a story of capitalization now dominant within urban infrastructures. Social HousingHousing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice questions the politics of urban practice from a variety of geopolitical and disciplinary viewpoints, from liberal private initiatives to the Occupy movement, from Almere to Ramallah, mixing artistic and architectural contributions with those of sociologists, urban historians, philosophers, and activists.

Social Housing—Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial Justice is the second volume in the Actors, Agents and Attendants series of publications and symposia initiated by SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain to investigate the role of cultural practice in the organization of the public domain.

Contributors: AIOA (Artists in Occupy Amsterdam), Yazid Anani, Nils van Beek, Casco/Our Autonomous Life?, Amalia Cardenas, Manuel Castells, Chto Delat, Joana Conill, Teddy Cruz, Adri Duivesteijn, Fulya Erdemci, Zoran Erić, Fallen Fruit, Edesio Fernandes, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Ernst van den Hemel, Jiang Jun, Sabrina Lindemann, Doreen Massey, Markus Miessen, Don Mitchell, Partizan Publik, Andrea Phillips, Marjetica Potrč, Arnold Reijndorp, Martin Reiter, Miguel Robles-Durán, Martha Rosler, Christoph Schäfer, Neil Smith, Pelin Tan, Floor Tinga, Ultra-red, Roman Vasseur, The Yes Men.

Special bundle offer for both volumes from the Actors, Agents and Attendants series: Caring Culture: Art, Architecture and the Politics of Public Health and Social Housing – Housing the Social: Art, Property and Spatial JusticeClick here for more information.

For more information: SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain and Sternberg Press
Sales inquiries: publications@skor.nl or mail@sternberg-press.com

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Filed under contemporary art, critical thought, urban movements (right to the city)