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Svalbard global seed vault

The meaning of «svalbard global seed vault»

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Norwegian: Svalbard globale frøhvelv) is a secure seed bank on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago.[5] Conservationist Cary Fowler, in association with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR),[6] started the vault to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds that are duplicate samples, or "spare" copies, of seeds held in gene banks worldwide. The seed vault is an attempt to ensure against the loss of seeds in other genebanks during large-scale regional or global crises. The seed vault is managed under terms spelled out in a tripartite agreement among the Norwegian government, the Crop Trust, and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen).[7]

The Norwegian government entirely funded the vault's approximately 45 million kr (US$8.8 million in 2008) construction.[3] Storing seeds in the vault is free to end users; Norway and the Crop Trust pay for operational costs. Primary funding for the Trust comes from organisations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from various governments worldwide.[8]

The Nordic Gene Bank has, since 1984, stored backup Nordic plant germplasm via frozen seeds in an abandoned coal mine at Svalbard. In January 2008, the Nordic Gene Bank merged with two other Nordic conservation groups to form NordGen.[9] The Svalbard Global Seed Vault officially opened on 26 February 2008,[2] although the first seeds arrived in January 2008.[10] Five percent of the seeds in the vault, about 18,000 samples with 500 seeds each, came from the Centre for Genetic Resources of the Netherlands (CGN), part of Wageningen University, Netherlands.[11]

As part of the vault's first anniversary, more than 90,000 food crop seed samples were placed into storage, bringing the total number of seed samples to 400,000.[12] Among the new seeds are included 32 varieties of potatoes from Ireland's national gene banks and 20,000 new samples from the U.S. Agricultural Research Service.[13] Other seed samples came from Canada and Switzerland, as well as international seed researchers from Colombia, Mexico and Syria.[14] This 4-tonne (3.9-long-ton; 4.4-short-ton) shipment brought the total number of seeds stored in the vault to over 20 million.[12] As of this anniversary, the vault contained samples from approximately one-third of the world's most important food crop varieties.[14] Also part of the anniversary, experts on food production and climate change met for a three-day conference in Longyearbyen.[15]

Japanese sculptor Mitsuaki Tanabe (田辺光彰) presented a work to the vault named "The Seed 2009 / Momi In-Situ Conservation".[16] In 2010, a delegation of seven U.S. congressmen handed over a number of different varieties of chili pepper.[17]

By 2013, approximately one-third of the genera diversity stored in gene banks globally was represented at the Seed Vault.[18]

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