North America, Seed

Safe and sound: Arctic seed vault ‘key to future global crops’

Image result for Global Seed VaultA special vault has been built in the Arctic to store thousands of seeds as scientists fear the impact of climate change and prolonged conflicts could have devastating consequences on food crops around the world. The Global Seed Vault has been built inside a mountain, near the town of Longyearbyen on the remote Svalbard Islands. It stores thousands of sample seeds from dozens of different countries. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the largest collection of agricultural biodiversity in the world. Potato samples are also stored in the Vault, including samples from Peru, and recently from the Commonwealth Potato Collection, a unique repository of potato germplasm held in trust by the James Hutton Institute with support from the Scottish Government (the first-ever seed deposit by a UK institution into the Global Seed Vault). Located in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, the Seed Vault is owned by the Norwegian Government and operated under a three-party agreement between the Norwegian Government, NordGen and the Crop Trust. Depositors to the Seed Vault still own the samples that they deposit and only they can retrieve the material if required. The BBC’s David Shukman has been given special access to the vault. Watch video (3mins)

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