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Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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Svalbard Global Seed Vault

In an abandoned coal mine deep within the Arctic Circle lies the world’s largest collection of seeds. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an international project financed and run by the Norwegian government and NGO The Crop Trust. It’s all in an effort to protect the genetic diversity of key plant species from around the world against the threats posed by climate change, natural disasters, disease, drought and human mismanagement. Governments, indigenous communities and other gene banks are entitled to deposit and withdraw seeds as they see fit, providing a valuable agricultural resource and also safeguarding the world’s food supply for the future.

“Its an important insurance policy if things go wrong around the worldand they do. Crop diversity is too important to be left to uncertainty” – Marie Haga, former executive director at The Crop Trust

The vault has the capacity to store 4.5 million crop varieties

More than 80 gene banks have contributed seed samples so far

The seeds are stored at -18°C to prevent unwanted germination