(CNN) An investment group of Swedish retail giant Ikea has acquired forestland in southeast Georgia to protect the land and its diverse ecosystems from development.
The Ingka Group, which owns and operates most Ikea stores, purchased 10,840 acres of land near the Altamaha River Basin, the company announced on January 14.
"We truly believe responsible forest management is possible and we see that a large part of our responsibility towards the land we own -- and by extension the planet -- is to restore forests and plant more than we harvest," Ingka Investments managing director Krister Mattsson told CNN.
"In all our properties nature conservation is important.
In this particular US investment in Georgia, first it is important that the land cannot be broken up into small units and it remains forever forestland.".
The land, acquired from non-profit conservation organization The Conservation Fund, is home to more than 350 plant and wildlife species -- including the endangered longleaf pine and gopher tortoise -- which are now protected. »