Svalbard Global Seed Vault: The Need for Seed

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is what it says—a place for the safekeeping of over 890,000 seed samples from nearly every country in the world. Why do we need it? Global food security.

An estimated 20% of plant diversity is under threat from habitat degradation, invasive alien species and over-exploitation; this is likely to be exacerbated by climate change.

This threatened diversity is likely to hold the key to solving some of this century’s major challenges in the areas of food security, energy availability, water scarcity, climate change, and habitat degradation.

The Crop Trust is the organization behind the Vault and this effort came about through a 140-country initiative.

A world that loses crop diversity loses options for the future, but a world that fails to take action, for the good of all, is simply giving up.

The Vault lives on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago, about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) from the North Pole. We have Norwegian artist Dyveke Sanne to thank for the beautiful illuminated art work crowning the Seed Vault entrance.