Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Preserving the world's seeds - The Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Entrance to the Seed Vault

It sounds like an installation from an apocalyptic science fiction movie. In Spitsbergen (Norway) is an underground vault that stores samples of important plant seeds. The location was chosen because it lacked tectonic activity and had permafrost, which aids preservation. Its being 130 metres above sea level will keep the site dry even if the ice caps melt.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) officially opened on 26 February 2008. As of March 2013, the number of distinct samples has increased to 770,000 (out of approximately 1.5 million distinct seed samples of agricultural crops which are thought to exist).

Svalbard Global Seed Vault - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia