ma seed vault

Ma Seed Vault


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is situated in Norway. It safeguards biodiversity in critical circumstances. With over one million seed samples, it is managed by the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

This article will explain the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and its intent.

Overview of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seed storage located deep in an Arctic mountain in Norway's Svalbard archipelago. It safeguards over 1 million varieties of food crops, nearly all species of important food crops, from war and disaster.

Inside the vault, seeds are sealed in airtight three-ply foil packages and stored at a refrigerated sub-zero temperature of -18°C (-0.4°F). Extra measures like vibration dampening and triple redundancy cold storage are used for maximum protection.

As long as humans have access to electricity and a heat exchange system (HEX), the vault will stay functional and accessible.

The purpose of the vault is to provide global security, an insurance policy against species extinction and assurance that humanity has access to its food supply in times of stress or crisis. Depositors from governments around the world entrust their native plants with Svalbard’s caretakers to protect against future agricultural crises or extreme events.

History of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seed bank in Norway. It was built to protect a wide variety of plant seeds from around the world. It was created in 2008 to help with food, water and agricultural issues. The vault also helps maintain diversity and protect global food security.

The seed vault is funded by private donors like Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust. It's also funded by public institutions like the governments of Norway, the United States, and Germany. The architect who designed the vault is Peter Rice. He chose the location for its stable permafrost and close proximity to Longyearbyen Airport.

Seeds stored inside are kept sub-zero temperatures and monitored by computers for any risks. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault has had some success stories since it opened. For example, it saved crops from Syria's Aleppo Governorate due to violence in the Syrian Civil War. Wild species were also stored in the vault from 2013-2016, thanks to funding from Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).

As of 2018, over 875 thousand samples have been deposited. This includes almost every country in the world, with over 400 genetic collections from Africa.

Location and Accessibility

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located on the secluded Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. It's situated in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago. This special vault provides a secure and accessible place for storing different types of plants from around the world.

Accessing the Seed Vault is managed carefully, which enables the safe and secure exchange of invaluable plant genetic material among countries. In this section, we'll take a better look at the Seed Vault's place and how easy it is to access.

Location of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is situated far away in the Arctic Circle, on the island of Spitsbergen. It's around 1,300 kilometers from the North Pole. The Global Crop Diversity Trust operates the seed vault as an essential service for international agriculture and food security.

The seed vault is accessible to scientists, no roads necessary; 300 meters above sea level. The structures are built with energy efficiency and safety in mind. Tunnels, ramps, vaults, and access corridors are dug into permafrost-protected chambers.

The seeds stored within have excellent safeguards from climate change and other potential threats. The permafrost structure cools up to -7°C (21°F). This prevents warm temperatures that could damage seeds over time, no need for mechanical refrigeration. It also acts as fire prevention, as it's impossible for fires to spread through solid permafrost rock.

Svalbard has good legal protection; no nation can claim ownership rights to the stored material inside the seed vault.

Accessibility to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) is located in Svalbard, Norway. It is the world's largest repository of crop diversity. This vault serves as a backup storage for seeds from genebanks all over the world. It provides assurance that crop diversity will remain safe from global disasters and preserved for the future.

SGSV is accessible to genebanks in the Norwegian Polar Institute's Emergency Response System (NERS). This system includes 13 countries like Austria, Belize, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. For countries outside the NERS network, they can access SGSV through the International Plant Exchange Network (IPEN). Every request requires approval from Norway prior to withdrawals or deposits.

Individual requests get a unique identification number and entry into an online tracking system called SEEDSPACES. This system stores all transaction information securely in encrypted form. It can detect unauthorized access or activities like theft or unapproved seed transfers. Research is allowed within a limited area of operation, ensuring quality standards. The vault is also equipped with safety protocols and multiple layers of security-proof doors.


Securely situated in Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a seed storage facility. It is constructed to endure a variety of natural calamities and human-induced disasters. The purpose of the vault is to safeguard plant diversity, providing the possibility of recovering seeds in the event of a catastrophic occurrence. Thus, preserving biodiversity across the planet.

Main Purpose of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located on an island off the coast of Norway. Its mission? Keeping samples of the world's agricultural seed diversity safe in case of disaster, such as famine or climate change. It's an insurance policy for global food supplies and biodiversity conservation. Scientists can replant crops from previously-cultivated plant species if needed.

To protect the collections, the Vault follows strict rules. Seeds must be inspected for quality before being accepted. Once inside, they are placed in an airtight container that can survive in temperatures as low as -18°C (-0°F). The Vault holds nearly a million seed samples from 5,000 crop species, with room for more!

Benefits of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the world's largest backup. It ensures safe storage for protected natural resources and promotes food security, conservation, sustainability, and access to genetic diversity info.

It enables countries to become self-sufficient in their food supply and reduces the risk of crop failure due to environmental changes. This backup seed vault reduces dependence on foreign-sourced seeds and helps farmers respond quickly to climate change scenarios.

It also allows researchers to use historical records from all over the globe to maximize yields. This helps with tailored crop enhancements such as disease/pest resistance or higher nutrient content value.

Seed banks also preserve local germplasm from native plant species, preserving years’ worth of agricultural knowledge and preventing potential nutritional deficiencies.

Seed Collection

Collecting, preserving and storing seeds from plants is known as seed banking. It is essential for safeguarding the genetic diversity of plants and defending against future perils such as climate change or disease.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, situated in Norway, is the largest seed vault on Earth. This seed vault furnishes a secure haven to store seeds from all corners of the world, thus ensuring genetic and crop diversity is preserved.

Types of Seeds Stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located in Norway's Svalbard archipelago. It stores the world's food crop genetic resources. Seeds come from genebanks around the world, such as those maintained by universities, national programs and international organizations.

Types of seeds stored range from plant species to crop varieties from all major regions of the world. Common seeds include wheat, maize, barley, sorghum, millet and rice. Vegetables like cucumber, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes, legumes like chickpeas or lentils, and spices like fenugreek and cumin are also stored. Pasture species like clover and grasses used for grazing are also included.

This large seed collection preserves traditional seed varieties and supports future generations. It also helps sustain food production even in challenging conditions.

Process for Storing Seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The process for storing seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (or ‘Seed Vault') is a secure two-step delivery system. It ensures preservation of genetic material and safety from contamination. Each depositor of seed samples sends a shipment along with authentication documents. On arrival, it's inspected. Then, it's placed in marked long-term storage units.

Transaction Numbers (TNs) are generated and assigned on the recipient's side. This allows easy tracking and contents can only be released with the TN. Verification ensures reliability and accuracy in checking sample integrity.

Requirements must be met by each shipment, established by NordGen's technical advisors. This includes a maximum weight of 17kg, minimum oxygen and water vapor levels, and internationally accepted phytopathological traffic rules for phytosanitary certification.

Racks of bank boxes within long-term storage units must be labeled distinctly. Information includes depositor’s names, year deposited, dates, country or region, crop species, number of boxes, full box identification codes, barcodes, accession numbers, and digitization codes.

NordGen performs additional checks throughout long-term storage periods. This ensures parameters related to seed quality remain consistent over time and within geographic boundaries.

Security and Preservation

The Arctic Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure storage unit located in the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. It is often called the ‘Doomsday Vault'. It was designed to protect and preserve the world's most valuable crop seeds from disasters, wars, and other terrible events. It holds over 1 million seed samples from nearly every nation.

To guarantee the safety and preservation of the seeds stored in the vault, several steps have been taken:

Security Measures of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) is a secure facility that provides storage for plant seeds from all over the world. It's located on a remote island, 1,000 kilometers away from the North Pole. It's one of the most secure seed storage facilities in existence.

Security measures have been taken to guarantee that only authorized personnel can access the facility and its contents. Features include:

  • Steel reinforced concrete walls and entry doors at two points
  • Advanced surveillance tech to detect unauthorized access
  • Staff on duty 24/7
  • Fire safety system
  • 24 hour temperature monitoring
  • Backup power supplies

Natural barriers and security protocols protect this global resource from climate change, civil unrest or terrorism. By keeping the seeds safe and accessible, governments will always have access to them if ever needed.

Preservation of the Seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the world's largest collection of plant genetic material, located deep in the Norwegian mountain permafrost. It holds over 500,000 seed samples from nearly every country, representing thousands of crop species.

The seeds are stored in three-ply foil packages, protecting them from temperature and humidity extremes, and other environmental factors.

Security features guard preservation. An outer dry ice container filled with nitrogen gas keeps a constant cold. Inside is a plastic box of seed packages. The innermost layer is metal walls sealed with locks, preventing unauthorized access or monitoring.

  • High-resolution surveillance cameras provide physical security.
  • Temperature monitoring tracks any internal variations, protecting against climate change and other risks.
  • UV protection materials prevent radiation from degrading the seeds faster than natural timescales.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the MA Seed Vault?

The MA Seed Vault is a state-of-the-art facility meant to preserve plant biodiversity by storing seeds safely for future use.

2. Where is the MA Seed Vault located?

The MA Seed Vault is located in Malvern, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

3. How does the MA Seed Vault work?

The MA Seed Vault works by carefully storing seeds in environments that encourage their long-term preservation. The vault is kept at a constant temperature and humidity level to ensure that seeds do not deteriorate over time.

4. What types of seeds are stored in the MA Seed Vault?

The MA Seed Vault stores a wide variety of seeds, including those from food crops, medicinal plants, and species threatened by climate change or habitat loss.

5. What is the significance of the MA Seed Vault?

The MA Seed Vault is significant because it helps to protect plants from being lost to extinction. By storing seeds from a variety of plant species, it helps to ensure that important genetic material is preserved for future generations.

6. Who is responsible for managing the MA Seed Vault?

The MA Seed Vault is managed by the Pennsylvania government's Department of Agriculture with support from partners such as Seed Savers Exchange and the Organic Seed Alliance.

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