Sow a Seed

The Sow a Seed Foundation was initiated by the IKEA Group in 1998 to rehabilitate rainforest devastated by logging and forest fires in the state of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. The aim is to restore the rainforest by planting a diverse range of indigenous tree species. In the initial phase, IKEA customers contributed generously with start-up funding for the Sow a Seed project.
Since then, the IKEA Group has taken responsibility for continuing the project and ensuring planting and maintenance of 18,500 hectares of lowland rainforest. The Sow a Seed project work is carried out in co-operation with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the forestry organisation Yayasan Sabah and the Malaysian forestry company RBJ.
In addition to protecting the reforested area from logging for 50 years, the project has contributed to the building of homes, meeting places for social events, and field accommodations for the more than 150 workers and their families who are involved in the project.
Sow a Seed project highlights:
  • More than 8,800 hectares of forest have been replanted with native tree species.
  • More than 1 million trees have been planted.
  • 150 people are employed in the nursery and in the field.
  • Housing, clean water, electricity, and free medical care are provided to all people working directly with the Sow a Seed project. A school has also been provided to improve access to education.
  • Research on seedling survival shows that 60-70 percent of seedlings are thriving three years after planting.
  • The rehabilitation cost per hectare of lowland tropical rainforest is about 700 US dollars, which is moderate compared to a plantation in Scandinavia.
  • IKEA has co-financed a study and research centre to encourage researchers to conduct more studies of rainforests.

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