The Ingka Group, an investment group of the Swedish retail behemoth Ikea, has purchased close to 11,000 acres of forestland in southeast Georgia to protect its diverse ecosystems from development. The property is near the Altamaha River Basin, designed for its high conservation value. The land is home to more than 350 plant and wildlife species, which include the endangered longleaf pine and gopher tortoise.
The group purchased the property from The Conservation Fund, a non-profit conservation organization that has protected over 8 million acres of land in the United States.
“We are honoured to work with Ingka Group and applaud its dedication to preserve and enhance forest quality in the U.S. and Europe. Well-managed forests provide essential benefits, including clean water and important wildlife habitat, as well as mitigating climate change,” said Larry Selzer, President and CEO of The Conservation Fund.
“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,” says Krister Mattsson, Managing Director Ingka Investments.
“We are committed to managing our forests sustainably while at the same time meeting our business objectives. In all our properties, we pay special attention to ensuring environmental protection, so we are happy to see that our efforts in working with responsible forest management are being seen and trusted.” he says.
The Ingka Group currently owns and manages around 248,000 hectares (613,000 acres) of forestland in various parts of the United States and Europe in nations such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.
The Group is also known for its other environmental initiatives. For instance, between September 2019 and August 2020, it planted 600,000 seedlings afforesting 480 hectares (1,186 acres) in the United States and close to seven million seedlings at the level of the entire portfolio, around the world.