Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seedbank located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago, about 1,300 kilometres from the North Pole. The facility preserves a wide variety of plant seeds in an underground cavern. The seed vault will provide insurance against the loss of seeds in genebanks, as well as a refuge for seeds in the case of large scale regional or global crises. The seed vault is managed under terms spelled out in a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian government, the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center.

Construction of the seed vault, which cost approximately $9 million, was funded entirely by the Government of Norway. Storage of seeds in the vault is free of charge. Operational costs are paid by Norway and the Global Crop Diversity Trust. The primary funding of the Trust came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Kingdom, Norway, Australia, Switzerland, and Sweden, though funding has been received from a wide variety of sources including four developing countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, and India.

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