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Earth Technology

How the Global Seed Vault Aims To Fight Future Famine 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the betting-our-future-on-a-hole-in-the-ground dept.
Lanxon writes "The Global Seed Vault opened in 2008 after engineers spent a year drilling and blasting through the sandstone, siltstone and claystone of the Norwegian Platåberget Mountain to create a system of subterranean chambers on the Advent Fjord's southern flank that could store 4.5 million seeds. It's a $9 million bet against climate change. But can it save us from the threat of worldwide famine? An article at Wired explores its current state and its future: '... it operates as a secure storage space for samples of other collections that are at risk. The samples remain at all times the property of the depositors, the only proviso being that the originals must be freely available to researchers and breeders under the terms of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources. There have been deposits from every continent: 3,710 species in total, from 29 crop institutes representing 226 countries. Over the past few years the need for a secure storage facility has become ever more urgent. A typhoon in the Philippines in 2006 caused a flood that left the national crop gene bank under two meters of water.'"
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How the Global Seed Vault Aims To Fight Future Famine

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