In the unimaginable cold of the Arctic Ocean is an archipelago that preserves the future of the planet. It is located on the Spitsbergen island, which is the world’s seed bank ( Svalbard Global Seed Vault ) , a building dug 120 meters into the mountain and equipped with safety systems against infiltrations.
The purpose of its creation is the preservation of the botanic genetic heritage of our planet and its protection from accidental loss
In 2006, the prime ministers of several Northern European countries have participated at the ceremony of laying the first stone with which the permission to start the great construction was given
In fact, the Nordic Gene Bank company collected plasma samples of northern plants germination since 1984. Afterwards, through an agreement with the Norwegian Government and other bodies, it was decided to continue this massive project of seed conservation. Many people considered the bunker a way to escape in case of apocalypse , but the armored rooms only serve to prevent the loss of botanical genetic material
The construction is designed to prevent any looting, to survive natural disasters and to preserve the genetic material in time.
Another advantage is its location: the bank is about 1300 km away from the Arctic Circle
This location was chosen not only because of the climatic conditions which favor the retention of the seeds , but also for the limited possibility that the area could be affected by armed conflicts
At the moment, in the Svalbard Vault are being kept more than 865,000 seed samples from around the world, from a total of 5,000 different species
The seeds are stored in sealed multi – layer paper bags, closed in plastic boxes which are placed on metal shelves, at the temperature of -18°
Both low temperature and poor circulation of oxygen ensure very slow metabolic activity of these seeds and prevent against aging
Most countries have a similar vault, but this vault plays a role of reserve stock of … reserves
Syria had its own warehouse near Aleppo , but due to the civil war and cuts of electricity , it was decided to carry its content in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault
For the first time since the Bank of seeds was opened in 2008 , the Norwegian Government has approved the withdrawal of Syrian seeds which will be deposited in the new Middle East stock