Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a building, or vault, that aims to store the seeds of all existing plant varieties. The objective is to recover a plant variety using its stored seeds in the event of its accidental disappearance.
Construction of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The first stone of the vault was laid on 19 June 2006 and the official inauguration took place on 26 February 2008. The building was fully financed by the Norwegian government, but the maintenance costs are also covered by the Global Crop Diversity Trust whose funds come from many countries, organisations and companies (particularly some of the biggest seed producers).
Operation of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault
There is no charge to deposit seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. Seeds are stored at -18 °C. They are placed in sealed packages in order to limit contact with oxygen which might deteriorate them. In addition, the building is surrounded by permafrost.
The storage capacity of this vault is 4.5 million samples.Each sample contains about 500 seeds. Currently, 500,000 samples have already been placed in the seed vault.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located on Spitzberg Island. © Global Crop Diversity Trust
Svalbard Global Seed Vault - 1 Photo