Historical archive

New shipment of seeds to Svalbard

A new shipment of seeds from food plants has arrived at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault for long-term storage.

Logo Svalbard Globale Seed Vault

New shipment of seeds to Svalbard

A new shipment of seeds from food plants has arrived at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault for long-term storage.

The shipment, now being taken into the seed vault in Longyearbyen, includes seed samples from Portugal, Costa Rica, Peru, Zambia, Azerbaijan and Columbia.  

Food plants for the climate of the future
Svalbard Global Seed Vault has the most varied collection of seed samples in the world. Seeds of the world's food plants are stored here for future generations. The genes in these seeds will help the next generation to find properties that will make the cultivated plants of the future successful in the climate of the future.

The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has determined that global food production must increase by 70 per cent by 2050.

 
A new shipment of seeds from food plants has arrived at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

A new shipment of seeds from food plants has arrived at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. (Photo: Simon Jeppson)

 

Sufficient, safe and nutritious food
- There are seven billion of us on the planet today. By 2020, there will be more than nine billion. All of us have the same right to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, says Minister of Agriculture and Food Lars Peder Brekk.

- Obtaining enough food in the years to come will be even more of a challenge. Climate change is making it more difficult and more expensive to produce food. This is the context in which the seeds being stored in Svalbard Global Seed Vault will play a vital role in the future, says Brekk.

The seed inside the vault.

The vault contains storage shelves on which the prepacked examples of food plant seeds from the depositors (the donor countries) are placed. (Photo: Mari Tefre/Svalbard Globale frøhvelv)

Safety net
Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the ultimate safety net for the diversity of the world's food plants. The purpose of the seed vault is to safeguard the world's most important genetic plant resources for food and agriculture at a maximum security level. The seed vault offers storage, free of charge, of safety duplicates from the seed collections being held in seed banks around the world.

Underground vault in the permafrost
Svalbard Global Seed Vault is about 1 km as the crow flies from Longyearbyen airport and consists entirely of an underground cavern blasted out of the permafrost (minus 3 to 4 degrees Celsius). The vault is designed for a practically endless lifetime.

The seed vault consists of three separate underground chambers, each of which has a storage capacity of 1.5 million seed samples. With the aid of its own machinery running on electricity from the local power plant, the vault is designed to maintain a constant inside temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault, April-May 2012.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault, April-May 2012. (Photo: Simon Jeppson)