Welcome to the INIKEA Sow-a-Seed Project
Rain forest restoration in Sabah, Borneo  

Project at a Glance:

The world’s rain forests need restoration

The planet’s rain forests have a major role for the well-being of millions of people. Both regionally and globally the rain forest have a decisive role for the global climate by storing carbon and contributing to good quality water. But much of this forest is in poor condition because of local use, wild fires and the global timber trade. Large areas are converted to oil palm and industrial tree plantations.

In 1998 Ingvar Kamprad – the Founder of the Swedish multi-national furniture company IKEA – therefore gave the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the Sabah Foundation the following assignment:

”At large-scale demonstrate if it is possible to speed up the re-establishment of a comprehensive rain forest with good growth and with an original and unique animal and plant life.”

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 the 18,500 hectares of lowland rainforest. The Sow a Seed project is carried out in co-operation with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the forestry organization Yayasan Sabah. The Kamprad Family Foundation is since 2014 funding a research collaboration between SLU and Universiti Malaysia Sabah, including stipends to Malaysian PhD students.

Highlights:
  • About 13 000 ha has been treated with three main restoration methods.
  • Two million seedlings of about 80 species have been planted.
  • In 2015 the area was given the status of Class I forest - the highest protection status in Malaysia.
  • 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
  • IKEA has co-financed a study and research center to encourage researchers to conduct more studies of rainforests.

Project Objectives
  • To show if it is possible on a large scale to rehabilitate tropical rain forests that have been seriously damaged by forest fires or harvesting in order to recreate the biodiversity and value of the forest for people locally and globally.
  • To develop methods that speed up forest recovery.
  • Spreading this knowledge to influence investments in rehabilitation of rain forest on a global scale.