The revolutionary Global Seed Vault, a depository of millions of seed samples from around the world, has just celebrated its first anniversary. The unique seed bank is located on the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard near the town of Longyearbyen. Its purpose is to replenish the world’s crops in the event of a global catastrophe.
To commemorate the first anniversary, around 90,000 seeds representing hundreds of species of crops were delivered to the Seed Vault. The main contributors were Canada, the US, Ireland, Switzerland, as well as three agricultural research centres in Mexico, Colombia and Syria. This brings the total number of seeds in the vault to 200 million seeds representing more than 400,000 different varieties, according to the Norway Post.
“We are especially proud to see such a large number of countries work quickly to provide samples from their collections for safekeeping in the vault,” said Norwegian Agriculture Minister Lars Peder Brekk. “It shows that there are situations in the world today capable of transcending politics and inspiring a strong unity of purpose among a diverse community of nations.”