Ikea bought 11,000 acres of forest in Georgia to protect it from development

As if you couldn’t love Ikea more, an investment group of the Swedish retail giant has purchased a large plot of forestland in southeast Georgia to protect it and its diverse ecosystems from development. 

The Ingka Group, which owns and operates the majority of Ikea stores, announced the purchase on January 14, confirming their purchase of 10,840 acres of land near the Altamaha River Basin. The area is home to over 350 plant and wildlife species, including the endangered longleaf pine and gopher tortoise. 

According to the announcement, the land was sold to Ingka Group from the Conservation Fund due to the company’s history of proper and productive forest management. The group currently owns and manages around 613,000 acres of forestland in the U.S. and Europe with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) auditing for forest management. 

“We are honored to work with Ingka Group and applaud its dedication to preserve and enhance forest quality in the U.S. and Europe,” said Larry Selzer, President, and CEO of The Conservation Fund. “Well-managed forests provide essential benefits, including clean water and important wildlife habitat, as well as mitigating climate change,” 

With multiple legally binding agreements set in place by the Conservation Fund, Ingka Group is obligated to protect the land from fragmentation, help restore the longleaf pine forest, and protect the habitat of the gopher tortoise. These agreements also ensure public access to the lands so people can continue to enjoy them. 

From September 2019 and August 2020, Ingka Group planted 600,000 seedlings within 1,186 acres in the U.S. and nearly 7 million seedlings around the world. 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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