Svalbard - The Global Seed Vault

Published on 7 December 2019 at 20:36

No more food

Imagine: there will be such a harsh winter in your country that it is no longer possible to grow food. Food supplies are running out and in spring the food won't grow anymore... Fortunately, such a situation has been considered and there is a solution, the global seed vault.


If we didn't have the global seed vault, we would probably run out of food. The Vault is located on the island of Spitsbergen, which is part of Norway. This is 1300 kilometers from the North Pole.


Perfect storage location

The Vault was officially opened in 2008 and cost 8.8 million dollars to build, fortunately Norway was being so kind to pay this bill. The Vault is located in a unique place: 130 meters deep in a mountain. It is very strictly guarded by security systems. Plant seeds of as many plant varieties as possible are stored in the Vault.


The vault is the perfect place because of the temperatures. It  is located above sea level, which means that the seeds will always stay dry. Many factors have been considered to create a safe place for the backup seeds.  A small group of employees may enter the Vault, but it is not accessible for citizens.


The bank has stored a total of about 20 million seeds. The vault now contains about one-third of the most important food crop varieties.


The picture is by: Frode Ramone. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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