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The Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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Presentation on theme: "The Svalbard Global Seed Vault"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Svalbard Global Seed Vault
by Gunnvor Berge

2 On the islands of Svalbard, close to the north pole,
the international community decided to build a global seed vault to safeguard the world’s biological diversity in food and agricultural plants

3 The airport at Svalbard. The Global Seed Vault
is situated in the mountain right above the airport

4 The vault, with the long tube leading into the permafrost
where the three chambers of the vault are placed

5 The entrance of the vault on the day of the opening, 26 February 2008

6 A local choir sings as Mari Boine arrives to perform during the opening ceremony

7 Its heart is made of local seeds that hopefully will sprout
A polar bear made in ice by the artist Olav Storø guards the entrance of the vault. Its heart is made of local seeds that hopefully will sprout as the bear melts during the short summer

8 Black boxes containing seeds from the gene banks
of the world’s international agricultural research centres CGIAR, arriving for the opening

9 The middle vault, the first one to be filled with seeds.
The three chambers together may contain 4, 5 million seeds, more than the total number of varieties on earth. The generators in front cool the chamber down to minus 18

10 Boxes containing genetic material in custody of the CGIAR-centres:
The International Potato Center CIP, The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture IITA, Africa Rice Center WARDA. In the previous picture: The International Rice Research institute IRRI, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas ICARDA


12 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s director-general
Dr. Jacques Diouf and Nobel peace laureate Wangari Maathai found the temperature in the Vault quite reassuring for long term storage

13 The Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg and the president of the EU commission José Manuel Durão Barroso on the top of the Seed Vault during the official opening

14 Cary Fowler, the head of the Global Crop Diversity Trust,
on leave from NORAGRIC at the University of Life Sciences. He is one of the brains behind the Vault and the idea of a safety deposit for the world’s heritage in seeds

15 An international council has been established to safeguard transparency in operations and serve as a link between the owners and managers of the vault, and the users and wider public. The Head of the Dept of International Environmental and Development Studies (Noragric), Prof. Ruth Haug, is a member of this board. (Here together with Wangari Maathai at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences)

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