Situated on Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, midway between continental Norway and the North Pole, is The Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
The vault constructed in a deserted Arctic coal mine was built 10 years ago to house and safeguard the world’s agricultural crops and flora from any natural or man-induced catastrophe.
The doomsday vault has over 900,000 seed samples from almost every country and has the capacity to store more than 4.5 million crop varieties. In case of any nuclear war or global disaster, the government can ask seeds from the vault to kick-start agricultural sector.
Now, the Norwegian government will spend 100 million Norwegian Crowns ($12.7 million), to construct a new concrete access tunnel and a service building for emergency power and refrigerating units and other electrical equipment that emits heat through the tunnel.
The minister for agriculture and food of Norway, Jon Georg Dale, said the building work will start soon. “It is a great and important task to safeguard all the genetic material that is crucial to global food security,” he said in a statement.
Dubbed as “the final back up” by the Crop Trust, this judgment day vault is accessible through commercial flights.
Recently, seeds were drawn from the vault for the first time to create seed banks in Morocco and Lebanon. Since its seed bank which was based in Aleppo, Syria, was destroyed due to the country’s ongoing civil war. After re-growing the seeds it was deposited again in The Svalbard Vault.