Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Welcome to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Way up north, in the permafrost, 1300 kilometers beyond the Arctic Circle, is the world's largest secure seed storage, opened by the Norwegian Government 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.

Logo Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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 Global Seed Vault

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.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault – a new video

Way up north, in the permafrost, 1300 kilometers beyond the Arctic Circle, is the world's largest secure seed storage. A new video produced by the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food tells the story about the Vault.

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Minister of Agriculture and Food Olaug Vervik Bollestad

A Task for Eternity

02/11/2020: Deep inside a mountain on an island in the Svalbard archipelago, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, more than one million seeds of crops from around the world are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The storage facility thus contains the world’s largest backup collection of seed samples. By establishing the Seed Vault, Norway has taken on a global task that will never be completed. The best way to manage this responsibility is to do so in an eternal perspective.

NordGen staff, Fredrik Kollberg (left) and Åsmund Asdal bring new seed boxes in to final position in the Vault shelves

Successful seed deposit despite the pandemic

30/10/2020: In the midst of the ongoing global pandemic, gene banks are sending backup copies of their seeds to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. This week, around 15,000 new bags of seeds from eight gene banks were safely placed on the shelves in the seed vault.