Doomsday Seed Vault

"The preservation of the genetic diversity of plants for food production for future generations is an important contribution to the fight against hunger and poverty in developing countries. It is in these countries due to the origin of the vast majority of the various plants, and these countries have an urgent need to ensure food security in the future development of agriculture.

Global Seed Vault, which will be built on permafrost in the interior of a mountain cliff in the archipelago of Svalbard, is designed to store duplicates of seeds from varieties located worldwide genetic seed banks. Many of these banks are in developing countries. If, for example, as a result of natural disasters, war, or, quite simply, a lack of financial resources, the seeds are lost, the seed collection will be restored thanks to the seeds from the store in Svalbard.


Loss of biodiversity is now one of the major threats to the environment and sustainable development. A variety of plants for food production is under constant pressure. Consequence of the loss of biological diversity may be an irreparable loss of our ability to grow plants for food, which will be adapted to climate change, new plant diseases and the needs of a growing population. "

This is the official announcement, which hangs on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Norway. And yes, it is in Russian. Read personally.

All photos are clickable.


1,000 km from the North Pole. In permafrost was to build a super-mega store. The seeds. In case of nuclear war or other disasters. Financed the construction of serious people (other than the Government of Norway), Bill Gates, for example.

Seeds will be collected from all over the world and can be stored for 1,000 years. Temperature in storage -18 ° C. If denied refrigerators, storage will continue to operate as is in the permafrost.

Most interesting is that the whole project was done in a mere year and a half. Where did such a hurry for?

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the granary?

Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a genetic bank. It — warranty store, where the face of various gene banks retained duplicates of seed varieties. Take the seeds from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault will be possible only if stored in the original seed funds for one reason or another will be lost.

Party shall deposit the seeds in Svalbard, retains ownership of them. Neither the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway or will not have the right to make someone in the store funds without authorization the depositors. At the request of the depositors seeds will be returned to her.

For how many seeds designed this granary?

Repository is designed to deposit 3 million different types of seeds. Because each type will be presented to a sample containing about 500 seeds, the seed vault can accommodate maximum of about 1.5 billion individual seeds.

Therefore, this granary will be able to keep all the unique types of seeds stored at present in gene banks, which number about 1,400, and which are located around the globe in more than 100 countries. In addition, this Seed Vault will be able to maintain samples of the new types of seeds that will be collected in the future.

When the global seed vault in Svalbard will be used to full capacity, it will be the largest global fund seed.

What type of seeds will be stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault?

Priority will be given in the first place, plant seeds, which are important for food production and sustainable agriculture. This is particularly important for developing countries where food security is a major challenge. If you look at the issue in historical perspective, we can see that more than 7,000 species of plants included in the menu of rights as important constituents of food. In the modern agriculture today are only 150 species. The world's population uses today, only 12 species of plants as a major source of plant food.

Each plant species also includes a large number of varieties and species of plants. For example, there are more than 100,000 varieties of rice.

How to store seeds?

The seeds will be stored at a temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius. Packed in sealed bags and stacked in sealed boxes seeds are placed on high shelves inside the vault. The low temperature and limited access of oxygen slows the metabolism and aging of seeds. Permafrost will ensure that the seeds retain their viability, even if the power supply system fails.

Who will own the seeds are in the store?

A single country or organization will have ownership of the seeds, which she deposited.

Why choose Svalbard?

Svalbard is, in many ways, a unique place, suitable for such a specially equipped room. Climate and geology of Svalbard are ideal for construction of underground storage fridge. Due to the average temperature of the permafrost in the repository will never rise above minus 3.5 degrees Celsius. Natural sandstone Svalbard provides stability of structures and a low background radiation. From a security perspective, Svalbard superior in performance location of many other genetic banks. In addition, Svalbard has a well-developed infrastructure with daily flights to the mainland and secure energy supply.

What happens if the permafrost beneath the surface of Svalbard will melt?

The issue of climate change has been taken into account when choosing a location for grain storage. Granary is located so high above sea level and at the same time so deep into the rock, that the possibility that it could be flooded by sea water, or that the permafrost melts in the foreseeable future, no.

When the Svalbard seed vault will be ready?

Seed Vault will open in early 2008.

How much will the construction of granaries?

Creating a Global Seed Vault in Svalbard will cost approximately 45 million Norwegian kroner. These costs assume the Norwegian state. Responsible for the construction work will be the Directorate of Civil Construction and Property of Norway (Statsbyugg).

What is genetic bank?

Genebank — A repository of genetic diversity of plants in the form of seeds, which are usually stored in a frozen state. The ideal temperature for storage is in the range of minus 10 to minus 20 degrees Celsius. Each type of seed is stored separately, for example, in a bottle, drawer or in a sealed bag of aluminum foil. Gene banks may also consist of live plants, if keeping these plants in the form of seeds causes problems.

How many gene banks exist?

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has compiled a list, which includes more than 1400 collections. The largest national gene banks are located in China, Russia, Japan, India, South Korea, Germany and Canada (the country are located in the order of largest banks). In addition, there are also international profile of the banks — particularly those located in many countries, and with the critical importance of gene banks that are part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research in Agriculture (CGIAR).

How many types of seeds in gene banks located?

Today in genebanks has about 6.5 million seed samples. However, only 2.1 million of them are considered to be "unique."

Who uses genetic banks?

Major users of gene banks are breeders and scientists.

Stored in gene banks different patterns are the source material for the current selection. They also form the basis of a large number of ongoing biological research. For this purpose annually shipped many hundreds of thousands of copies.

Is there a need to maintain such a large variety?

Different varieties of plants have different properties, and these properties are not always visible to the naked eye. It could be a genetically determined disease resistance, the ability to adapt to different soils and different climate, differences in taste and nutritional value. If we are ever in the future will need to use the features any particular unique plants need guarantees that it plant You can still be found.

What are the threats to gene banks and collections of plants?

The biggest threat is the lack of reliable funding of gene banks. The big problem may also be a bad management. In addition, gene banks may be affected by natural disasters, war and social unrest. First, the effects of various negative factors in the future may be subject to gene banks, which are located in developing countries.

How many varieties of plants have been lost?

It is impossible to know for sure because there is no basis on which to determine exactly how many varieties of plants existed before. But it is clear that the number of species that have been used for the last 30 years of intensive agriculture has declined significantly. The loss of these species is irreplaceable. Former wheat and potatoes can disappear just as in the history of the dinosaurs disappeared.

How long can live seeds in a frozen state?

It depends on the particular cultivar. Some seeds, such as peas, are able to remain viable for only 20-30 years old, while the other — for example, sunflower seeds and certain cereals — can remain viable for decades and even centuries. Gradually, all the seeds lose their viability and die. Before that happens, a specially preserved samples taken a few seeds that are planted in the soil. After that will be collected new, young seeds, and they will be placed in storage. In this way, the original single variety can be stored almost forever.

Why the global seed vault in Svalbard important for developing countries?

Ensuring food security is a challenge for many developing countries. This is due to many factors, including the fact that the infrastructure for the conservation of genetic resources is not always sufficiently developed. Available in the global seed vault in Svalbard Advanced Security system will therefore be particularly important for many developing countries.

Many developing countries are rich in plant genetic resources. Svalbard seed vault will be in this case, an additional guarantee, which will be particularly important for the conservation of these resources.


Storage scheme

A.9286.101-D Plan anlegg _ Layo

The same scheme only in PDF, you can look in detail at all.

Located on 120 feet of water and at a height of 130 meters (430 feet) above sea level in the village of Longyearbyen Spitsbergen. Bank will be equipped with explosion-proof doors, airlock. Ensure the safety of materials refrigerators that can work at the local coal, and permafrost. The seeds will be stored wrapped in aluminum foil at a temperature from £ 20 to £ 30 ° C.

Svalbard has been selected for the storage of seed bank because of the permafrost and low tectonic activity in the archipelago.



The repository "Doomsday" has accumulated half a million seed samples, reports Associated Press. Latest seeds trapped in the vault, were the seeds of German pink tomato and wild strawberry from Russia, said LiveScience.

Back in mid-2008 in the store contained only 250,000 seeds. All it can hold 4.5 million samples.

Repository "Doomsday" was opened in 2008 and is located in the archipelago of Svalbard, just a thousand kilometers from the North Pole. It is planned that the scientists will collect in it the seeds of most of the known species of plants. Storage able to survive such disasters as nuclear war or global warming (Read geoclimatic disasters).

For the construction of the repository has been spent 9.6 million dollars. The initiator of the store was Norway, in which hosts a giant warehouse. Storage "Judgment Day" — is not the only project of its kind. In the county of West Sussex in the UK is' repository Millennium »(Millennium Seed Bank), where in October 2009 the seeds were collected just under 10 percent of all known plant species.



Nigeria_Cowpea_fro_2_F_IITA copy

More Photos Store "Judgment Day."

Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Norway, Wikipedia, RSS

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