Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway, Longyearbyen

World Reserve Svalbard seed is an underground vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen intended to keep it in a safe place seeds of all food crops in the world and so preserve genetic diversity.

 

This site was chosen because the climate and geology of Spitsbergen are ideal for such conservation project and the Scandinavian countries are heavily involved in it. Excavated near the small town of Longyearbyen (1900 inhabitants) in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard about 1,120 km from the North Pole, this vault is managed by a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian government, the international organization Global Crop Diversity Trust and Nordic gene bank (cooperation of the Scandinavian countries under the authority of the Nordic Council of Ministers).

 

The first stone was laid June 19, 2006 in the presence of the prime ministers of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. The official inauguration took place on 26 February 2008.

 

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