The Seed Vault

In the freezing regions of the Arctic Ocean, there is a seed vault also known as the seed bank or the gene bank. The name of the seed bank is the  SVALBARD GLOBAL  SEED  VAULT. It is located in the island of Spitsbergen near a town of the name Longyearbyen. It is situated on the Arctic Svalbard archipelago. This seed bank has been constructed approximately 100-120 feet in the interior of a mountain in Spitsbergen a Norwegian island. The place was considered suitable for the construction of the bank because of the permanent frost throughout the year. Since it is a few hundred  feet above the sea level, it will still be safe, should a few icecaps below it melt.

Basically a seed bank is a type of gene bank(or that stores genetic material of any sort, be it the sperms and eggs of a particularly rare species facing the threat of extinction or be it the frozen parts or plants). This seed vault is maintained as a tripartite between the Norwegian Government, the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center(also known as the NordGen which is a gene bank put together by the combined effort of the Norwegian countries).

Although the primary aim of this gene bank is to provide safety to the other gene banks, should there be any loss of species in their other seed vaults all over the world, some people also say that the seeds can also be used there is a disaster in some part of the world which may lead to a shortage of food in the area.The genebanks have often been destroyed over the years due to wars and strifes.

The seeds here are stored at a really temperature of -18°C(which equals 0°F). They are  stored in four ply envelopes which are put in plastic packets.The plastic packets are sealed with great care so that the entry of moisture into the packets is prevented. The low temperature helps in lengthening the aging of seeds. Low supply of oxygen also serves this purpose. The frost in the area helps maintain the seeds in the vault at low temperature should there be a failure of current(Usually, low temperatures are obtained through electricity.)

I think this is a wonderful idea.It is good to save seeds for the future generations. Besides saving seeds it also preserves diverse species of plants and animals so that the future generations may be able to witness them and realize their greatness. Thinking ahead of times is a really good idea. We should prevent the wastage of foodgrains and when we have excess of it we should save it, so that the future generations do not have to starve. What do you think about this? Please post your comments.

For videos related to the Svalbard seed bang you can go to YouTube. The site has got plenty of videos showing the location of the bank. There are also videos showing the interviews with director of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

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