News story, 07.09.2009

Published during: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher: Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Status: Archived

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Visit of Ban Ki-moon

 

Logo Svalbard Globale Seed Vault

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Visit of Ban Ki-moon

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: On Wednesday 2 September, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is visiting Svalbard Global Seed Vault together with Minister of Agriculture and Food Lars Peder Brekk. “Maintenance of the genetic diversity in the world’s food crops for future generations is crucial to fight against hunger and poverty in third world countries,” says Brekk.

The diversity of food plants is under constant pressure and the loss of biological diversity is today one of the greatest challenges for the environment and sustainable development. Ensuring that the genetic diversity of the world’s food crops is maintained for future generations is crucial to the fight against hunger and poverty in third world countries. These countries have the origins of the widest plant diversity and this is where the need for food security and further development of agriculture is most acute.

Seeds from all over the world
Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which has been established in the permafrost inside the mountains of Svalbard, has been constructed to store backup duplicates of seed from seed collections all over the world. Many of these collections are located in developing countries. If seed should be lost, due for example to a natural disaster, war or simple lack of resources, the seed collections will be re-established with seed from Svalbard.

On Wednesday 2 September, Minister of Agriculture and Food Lars Peder Brekk is the host when UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon receives a guided tour and information about the seed bank. 25 international and national institutions from 22 different countries have so far deposited more than 400,000 seed samples for long term secure storage in the seed vault. The vault has a capacity for 4.5 million seed samples.

Climate change
“New crop varieties are needed to maintain the level of food production under the climate changes predicted for this century by UN climate experts, no matter how many climate initiatives we take. I will stress this to Ban Ki-Moon when I meet him in Svalbard,” says Minister of Agriculture and Food Lars Peder Brekk.

Press contact for Lars Peder Brekk during the visit to Svalbard:
senior adviser Gunnar Syverud, tel. 90 95 47 13.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault: On Wednesday 2 September, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is visiting Svalbard Global Seed Vault together with Minister of Agriculture and Food Lars Peder Brekk.