Deep in the frozen tundra of Norway lies a doomsday vault, and in the interest of self-preservation, scientists have just added 50,000 new seeds to this global seed vault. Seeds for potatoes, wheat, barley, lentils, rice, sorghum and chickpeas have been placed here where they will be stored indefinitely.
The global seed vault is found in the Svalbard archipelago, which is located exactly halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Despite being in such an extreme Northern area, it is still inhabited by both people and this doomsday vault. The vault was officially opened in 2008 and was built to last for 1,000 years.
The whole purpose of the doomsday global seed vault is to protect the seeds inside from every disaster possible, including all natural disasters, climate change, a freak asteroid strike or even nuclear war. The most recent deposit features samples from the seed collections of many different countries and helps to grow the current global seed vault inventory.
Crop Trust announced on Wednesday that Pakistan, India, Benin, the Netherlands, Morocco, the U.K., Belarus, Herzegovina, Bosnia, Mexico and the United States have all just contributed their own samples of seeds for this project, according to Mashable.
The organization known as Crop Trust is the charity which is responsible for helping to fund the doomsday global seed vault, while the Norwegian government runs it. The Crop Trust states that the global seed vault will “secure, for centuries, millions of seeds representing every important crop variety available in the world today. It is the final backup.”
The executive director of Crop Trust, Maria Haga, has said in a recently issued press release that she believes this storage of seeds and crop diversity could help to eradicate hunger while providing a food supply for the world, regardless of any tragic calamities that may befall us in the future.
“Collective efforts to conserve crop diversity and produce a global food supply for tomorrow continue to be strong. Crop diversity is a fundamental foundation for the end of hunger.”
— ISF (@SeedFed) February 23, 2017
Inhabitat reported that despite so many international differences, The Crop Trust believes that countries are still dedicated to providing a global food supply for the future.
“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.”
The global seed vault now contains an astonishing total of 930,821 seed samples from nearly every crop that is known in the entire world. Despite the recent delivery of seeds and so many others, this doomsday vault still has room for more as it has a maximum capacity of 4.5 million samples of seeds.
Another thing that this seed vault does is to hold duplicate seeds for other seed collections from around the world. Those that own these seeds are able to take them out, as needed. This has been especially useful, especially as Syria recently needed to withdraw some seed samples.
The International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), which used to be found in Aleppo, had been storing some of their seeds from the Fertile Crescent in the doomsday global seed vault, but began taking some of these out in 2015 so that they could plant fresh seeds away from war-torn Syria. ICARDA have now given back some of their seed samples so that they can once again be placed in the global seed vault and issued a statement about how helpful duplicate seeds are.
“We are demonstrating today that we can rely on our gene-banks and their safety duplications, despite adverse circumstances, so we can get one step closer to a food-secure world.”
Even though the global seed vault in Norway is a fairly new project, it has already been proven to be useful and can only be more so in the case of any major doomsday scenario.
[Featured Image by John McConnico/AP Images]