Saturday, March 1, 2008

Svalbard Seed Bank - A Hot Spot in a Cool Place

The seed bank in Svalbard is not exactly the next big vacation spot, but for those who think about food production and participate in it, even at the gardening level, it is very exciting!

The seed bank is meant to store seed samples from around the world - Mexico, Africa, and India to name a few - in an effort to save endangered plants from extinction as well as preserve biodiversity. Seed banks preserve seeds of fruits and vegetables from natural disasters, wars, and industrial farming. Recent changes in the political and global climate spurred the construction of an international seed bank to house and protect seeds from around the world. Construction began in 2006, and cooling in November, 2007. The seeds need to be kept at minus 20 degrees Celsius. Seed Savers Exchange deposited samples of their seeds, along with other organizations and seed banks from around the world. Organized in part by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the seed bank will be a vital resource for the future.

Take a look at the seed bank and its construction, while this article from the San Francisco Chronical offered further information.

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