NEW POLICY COMMITMENT ON ANCIENT PACIFIC FORESTS

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GREENPEACE PACFIIC Suva, Fiji Islands

And

IKEA Sydney, Australia

NEWS RELASE November 24, 1999

In a joint news conference with Greenpeace today, the international furniture retailer IKEA made a major public commitment in favor of the environment by announcing that it will stop buying furniture made from wood coming from ancient forests.

"IKEA's long term goal is to ensure that all the wood in its products comes from well-managed forests. The first step to is to see that no solid wood is coming from ancient forests or forests with high conservation values," said Susanne Bergstrand, IKEA's international environment manager.

IKEA is the largest furniture retailer in the world, with an annual turn over of US$ 8 billion dollars. It has a number of stores in Australia.

Today IKEA said that they had written to all their furniture suppliers asking them to take steps to make sure that, by September 2000, the solid wood used to make furniture for IKEA does not come from ancient forests.

The only exception to this will be for wood from ancient forests coming from FSC-certified forestry operations.

Greenpeace Pacific's Forests Campaigner, Grant Rosoman, welcomed IKEA's announcement.

"Consumers have a right and a responsibility to know where their wood products are coming from, and to end their role in ancient forest destruction. IKEA is joining the movement of responsible corporate consumers concerned about ancient forests.

"Greenpeace looks forward to working with IKEA to implement the new policy and to identify good forestry operations that IKEA suppliers can purchase from."

Rosoman calls on other retailers to follow suit, especially those using wood from the ancient forests of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

"The clear message IKEA's move sends to wood producers in the region is to get out of ancient forest logging and get FSC certified," he says.

The announcement comes as Greenpeace launches a new report titled: Re-Source: Market Alternatives to Ancient Forest Destruction, which describes a range of alternative fiber products available in the USA, Europe and Japan, which do not involve ancient forest destruction.

Re-Source focuses on alternative approaches, including the development of good purchasing policies, efficient wood use, and adoption of the precautionary principle. Most of the products described in Re-Source are available internationally.

Re-source is a follow-up report to "Buying Destruction," which revealed the massive dominance by a few Asian trans-nationals in the unsustainable logging of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Island forests.

For additional information, contact:

In New Zealand: Grant Rosoman, Forests Campaigner, at TEL: (643) 3825476

In Australia: Dr. Arlene Griffen, Pacific Regional Coordinator, at TEL: (612) 92614666

In Fiji: Samantha Magick at pmedia@dialb.greenpeace.org 

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