The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, is established in the permafrost in the mountains of Svalbard. It is designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections around the globe. If seeds are lost, e.g. as a result of natural disasters, war or simply a lack of resources, the seed collections may be reestablished using seeds from Svalbard.
Ensuring that the genetic diversity of the world’s food crops is preserved for future generations is an important contribution toward the reduction of hunger and poverty in developing countries. This is where the greatest plant diversity originates and where the need for food security and the further development of agriculture is most urgent.
The loss of biological diversity is currently one of the greatest challenges facing the environment and sustainable development. The diversity of food crops is under constant pressure. The consequence could be an irreversible loss of the opportunity to grow crops adapted to climate change, new plant diseases and the needs of an expanding population.
Read more at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Svalbard Archipelago
Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic constituting the northernmost part of Norway, is located north of mainland Europe, – midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. The group of islands range from 74° to 81° north latitude (inside the Arctic Circle), and from 10° to 35° east longitude. Spitsbergen is the largest island, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya.
The administrative center is Longyearbyen, and other settlements include the Russian mining community of Barentsburg, the research community of Ny-Ålesund and the mining outpost of Sveagruva. The archipelago is administered by the Governor of Svalbard.
Text modified by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews
Photo by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs