[QODLink]
Archive
Norway to build seed 'doomsday vault'
Norway has begun construction of a vast "seed bank" in a mountain near the North Pole to protect food supplies should environmental disaster or nuclear war occur.
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2006 10:06 GMT
The project will preserve seeds from all the world's crop plants
Norway has begun construction of a vast "seed bank" in a mountain near the North Pole to protect food supplies should environmental disaster or nuclear war occur.

Described as a "Noah's Ark" of plant life by the Norwegian government, which funded the project, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault will preserve around three million seeds representing all known varieties of the world's crops.

The seeds will be hidden in a heavily fortified vault in Norway's Svalbard islands, a remote archipelago about 1,000 km (620 miles) from the North Pole.

The seeds will be stored at a temperature of -18 Celsius (-0.4 Fahrenheit), in order to ensure their survival for hundreds, even thousands, of years.

The project is supported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and is expected to open in September 2007.

Natural guardians

The independent Global Crop Diversity Trust, which is helping to run the project, said that crop diversity is already at risk by accidents, mismanagement and budget cuts.

"This facility will provide a practical means to re-establish crops obliterated by major disasters"

Cary Fowler, executive secretary of the Global Crop Diversity Trust

"This facility will provide a practical means to re-establish crops obliterated by major disasters," said Cary Fowler, executive secretary of the trust.

About 1,400 seed banks around the world already hold samples of the world's crops, but the Norwegian project is thought to be one of the first international efforts.

The trust also said that the Svalbard islands proved a perfect place to construct such a project, in part because of the many polar bears roaming the vicinity which can act as natural guardians.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.