Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Welcome to the Svalbard Global Seed Bank

Way up north, in the permafrost, 1300 kilometers beyond the Arctic Circle, is the world's largest secure seed storage vault, the Norwegian Government Global Seed Vault, opened in February 2008. From all across the globe, crates of seeds are sent here for safe and secure long-term storage in cold and dry rock vaults. The aim of the Seed Vault is to preserve the vast genetic variation in crops worldwide. Each seed sample is potentially of great benefit to farmers, researchers and processors, as they supply food to an increasing world population. Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a worldwide insurance for the food supply of future generations

A global backstop

The vault hold the seeds of many tens of thousands of varieties of essential food crops such as beans, wheat and rice. In total, the vault now holds seeds of more than 4000 plant species. These seed samples are duplicates of seed sample stores in national, regional and international gene banks.

Svalbard Globale frøhvelv

Seeds remain depositors' property

The Seed Bank was established and is fully funded by the Norwegian government, with the responsibility for operations assigned to The Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The Ministry coordinates daily operation with the Nordic Gene Resource Centre and the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and receives guidance from a dedicated international council established to advise the Seed Bank.

Frøene pakkes i forseglede poser som legges i forseglede bokser og plasseres i høye hyllereoler inne i hvelvet.

More about the physical plant

What does it look like? How big is it? How cold is it? What does it look like inside? Who built it? Who is the architect? What is the theme of the artwork? Who is the artist?

Current

Forest seed destined for Svalbard

For the first time forest tree seeds are officially deposited and stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The Norwegian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Sylvi Listhaug together with her Swedish and Danish colleagues Sven-Erik Bucht and Dan Jørgensen, carried the first boxes of Nordic forest tree seeds in to the vault today. This is an important contribution to the conservation of genetic resources.