2021 is an important year where decisions on a global biodiversity framework will be taken at the upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference, CBD COP 15. The rate of global loss of nature is unprecedented in human history. According to the WWF Living Planet report 2020, there was a 68 percent average decrease in population sizes of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish between 1970 and 2016. Meanwhile, half the global GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature’s resources, while nature provides at least $125 trillion worth of services annually.
“We have a decisive decade ahead. 2030 is the year by which we must be on track with the decarbonisation pathway and reverse nature loss to create a safe and healthy future for people and planet. The next ten years can and must put us in the right direction towards an equitable, net zero and nature positive economy. We are proud to continue our partnership with IKEA, joining forces to achieve more impact on the ground, help mainstream sustainable practices and positively influence stakeholders, businesses and decision makers,” says Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International.
“WWF believes that working with the private sector is a key mechanism that can help contribute significantly to sustainable development and that by working with companies like IKEA we can address the need for the entire industry to be more sustainable. WWF is committed to work with IKEA to continue showing leadership and transparency and to address the inevitable challenges which come with corporate sustainability whenever they occur.”
Lena Pripp Kovac, Chief Sustainability Officer at Inter IKEA Group, says: “There is an urgent need to actively protect biodiversity. Halting deforestation and the conversion of natural habitats, as well as restoring degraded landscapes is critical to addressing biodiversity loss and climate change. Through the combined efforts of WWF and IKEA, we aim to influence and inspire more sustainable business practices, and to deliver conservation and resource stewardship that would not otherwise be possible.”
Since 2002, WWF and IKEA have worked together to protect and improve management of forests and fight illegal logging, as well as to reduce water and pesticide use and improve livelihoods in cotton farming. The partnership is also engaged in freshwater projects to find solutions for a more sustainable textile industry. The partnership now works in 17 countries all over the world.
A few results of the partnership are:
- Strengthening of forest policy, improving forest management practices and increasing FSC-certified forests by 36 million hectares, to drive market transformation towards responsibly sourced wood in Europe and Asia.
- Completing the mapping of nearly all known virgin and old-growth forests in the Carpathian regions of Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine, and also in Russia, where procedures to ensure protection of the old-growth forest are now in place.
- Empowering 10,000 women in Pakistan through training and capacity building on alternate income generation activities such as the establishment of micro-nurseries and kitchen gardening techniques, with environmental benefits, which includes conservation of natural resources.
In the next five years, the WWF and IKEA partnership will – through advocacy and continued field implementation – collaborate to protect, manage and restore key landscapes, enhance biodiversity and enable a climate positive value chain, in a way that upholds the rights and needs of people. Some key areas of focus for the renewed partnership are:
- To test, implement, and promote a landscape approach to enhance local biodiversity in Russian forests. Particular focus will be on commercial FSC-certified forest areas and forest set aside for conservation purposes.
- To maintain habitats of flagship species, for example orangutans, and resilience to climate change of tropical forests in South East Asia. Within Indonesia, this project will contribute at least 20,000 hectares of FSC-certified forests that are sustainably and equitably managed for the benefit of local communities.
- Promoting Water Stewardship beyond the cotton farms by enhancing our work on water basin improvement and restoration projects in Turkey, Pakistan and India through a series of technology-driven interventions and multi-stakeholder initiatives.
- Reducing GHG emissions through the adoption of carbon smart agricultural practices. This will include supporting and enabling farming communities to adopt climate-smart crop production and livestock management by training and building up capacity. It will also include promoting research and development within this area.
- Establishing a global definition of climate positive with the aim to secure a credible framework for ambitious global climate action. This process will be led by WWF, with key input from IKEA and other companies, and part of the work will be presented at COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.