March 23 2008

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Svalbard Seed Bank_Image 04

The long sighted Scandinavians have done it again. In an effort to plan for major global food crises, planetary catastrophe, or species extinction, the Nordic ministries have built the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to safeguard specimens of the world's seeds. A Noah's Ark for plant species. The Vault is located on the extremely secluded Spitsbergen Island in the Svalbard Archipelago of Norway, just over a thousand kilometers from the north pole. The location was chosen because of its relatively low tectonic activity, remoteness, and extremely cold temperatures. The organization claims that seeds can be preserved for hundreds if not thousands of years in these conditions.

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The vault itself is a simple and elegant design. It is comprised of an entry, a long access corridor and two large seed storage rooms. The storage center is buried 393 feet inside a sandstone mountain. Here, in the center of the mountain, temperatures are at near permafrost conditions which in combination with a ventilation system keeps the seeds at a temperature of between -20°C and -30°C. In total the vault is capable of storing in excess of 4.5 million seed varieties.

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Supporters of the seed vault include the Norwegian government, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the Nordic Gene Bank and the Gates Foundation.

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Initiatives such as these are evolutionary in terms of the perspective on the future which they project. These governments, organization and individuals are not thinking about the world in one year, five years, even fifty years, their considerations stretch into the millennia. The seed vault project shows that concerned groups are considering a world vastly different from the one we inhabit today and have arrived at that realization through an understanding of how population growth, global warming, and species depletion are related. If the seed vault is predicated on an understanding of the future, or possible future, then what implications does that have for other decisions being made by these groups of people. Sounds like full life cycle analysis. Sounds like sustainability. Now if only this perspective were predominant in the global psyche, imagine the possibilities for our built environment.

I, for one, am glad that they pulled it off and still created a pretty cool looking entrance into the vault!

For more information on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault please visit wikipedia or two complimentary articles in the NYT and at CNN.

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February 27th, 2008 at 4:50 AM

Wikipedia » Svalbard Global Seed Vault

[...] F O U R H M A N . C O M wrote an interesting post today on Svalbard Global Seed VaultHere’s a quick excerptFor more information on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault please visit wikipedia or two complimentary articles in the NYT and at CNN. [...]

April 23rd, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Kassahun Mammo

My Dear Anyone who lives on this planet even in our universe has to be grateful for this Svalbard Global Seed Vault work of the millennium; it is a proposal never had come on open forum. Svalbard Global Seed Vault is equally important as to that of the research of LHC, in CERN (photon ? atom research) in Switzerland. Moreover, I personally have a high regard for the scientists who forwarded this superior and ground-breaking, rather (Arctic pole breaking,) idea for the global diversity security. Although, food is the measure staff as energy source nevertheless, Svalbard mission is an intention not only to secure food but also existence after xyzzzzzz boom booom booooo!!!!; So, I will have a value beyond measure for this effort which could take care for homosapine and other organisms or life on earth to set aside from unexpected catastrophic events by one or another way. Whatever happened here on our planet we will have something possible to keep on life on this galaxy, HOPFULLY!!!!!. So, any government and scientists, in any area of specialization have to cooperate and contribute to further this noble gracious work on earth at Svalbard, Global Seed Vault. It is a responsibility of the citizens of the Earth; we have not make an ethical, regional or national and continental boundary for this mission or assignment. It must be the task of ALL MANKIND; the HAVE and the NOT HAVE. Being a HUMAN is ENOUGH!!!!!!. Finally the Government of Norway and the CGIAR, and all its centers and FAO as well as all collaborative states and institutes are strongly appreciated for their willful support. Kassahun Mammo Ethiopia

June 1st, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Greenline Svalbard Global Seed Vault | Portable Greenhouse

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