Global seed vault opens

Published: Monday 31 March 2008

-- (Credit: CGIAR)The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, built on Norway's island of Spitsbergen, formally opened on February 26 to receive seed samples of food plants from across the world. Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg, together with the African Nobel Peace Prize winning environmentalist Wangari Maathai, placed the first seeds in the vault. On the first day, the vault received 268,000 seed samples, filled in 676 boxes. The vault, which is built 130 metres deep in the permafrost of an Arctic mountain, can store more than 4.5 million seed samples. The vault is built to withstand global warming, earthquakes and even nuclear strikes.

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