A major seed deposit said to be critical to ensuring global food security was made to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic Circle today.
Nearly 50,000 samples of seeds from seed collections in the UK, Benin, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Netherlands, the US, Mexico, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Belarus have been transported to the vault on the Svalbard archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole for long-term safekeeping.
The preparation and shipment of seeds to the facility has been funded in-part by the Crop Trust, which works worldwide to create, fund and manage an efficient and effective global system of seed collections.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is said to be a safe and secure vault supported by the Crop Trust which can store up to four and a half million samples of crops from all over the world. By preserving duplicate samples of seeds held in gene banks worldwide, the vault provides a ‘fail safe’ insurance against loss of crop diversity caused by climate change, natural disaster or war, according to the Crop Trust.
Marie Haga, executive director of the Crop Trust, said: “Today’s seed deposit at Svalbard, supported by The Crop Trust, shows that despite political and economic differences in other arenas, collective efforts to conserve crop diversity and produce a global food supply for tomorrow continue to be strong.
“Together, the nations that have deposited their seed collections account for over a quarter of the world’s population. Nearly every country has agreed on the importance of conserving crop diversity through Target 2.5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to conserve agricultural diversity in seed collections. Crop diversity is a fundamental foundation for the end of hunger.”
The Crop Trust’s funding is said to allow millions of plant genetic resources to be recorded and ultimately shared and used around the world to improve agricultural production and prevent loss of crop diversity in the face of natural disasters, climate change and war.