The Seed Vault Tera

The Seed Vault Tera


The Seed Vault Tera is a project launched in 2008. It aims to preserve the health and diversity of crop seeds. This cutting-edge facility is on the isolated island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Ocean. It is commissioned by the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

The goal of the Seed Vault Tera is to store a copy of the world's seed collections. This is to make sure food supply is safe in a global crisis. By preserving this genetic material, the Seed Vault Tera is protecting food security.

In this article, we'll look into more details about how the Seed Vault Tera is protecting the world's crop diversity:

Definition of Seed Vault Tera

The Seed Vault Tera is a portable, shielded seed storage device made to hold diverse plant species' seeds. This product offers a secure and effective way to store important seeds.

The Seed Vault Tera uses an advanced containment method with polycarbonate film and carbon nanotube fibers for a strength rating of 1kgf/cm2. Inside is a cryogenic interior that protects the delicate seed structure from extreme temperatures and moisture levels. Plus, the insulation from the multiple layers of polycarbonate film guarantees a successful long-term storage environment, reducing degradation risks in stored seeds.

In addition to the reliable containment method, the Seed Vault Tera has user-friendly features. A temperature/humidity sensor detects changes in the chamber and alerts users. Plus, it has a security keypad lock system for instant access in emergencies.

This device is a great tool to save precious seeds for generations, protecting them from potential disasters or imbalances in their natural habitats or gene pool diversity.

History of the Seed Vault Tera

The Seed Vault Tera is a huge collection of food and crop plants from all over. It was set up in 2007 with the goal of preserving and protecting plant species. The concept originated in 1986 when Dr. Norman Borlaug proposed a “Noah's Ark” to protect agriculture. Norway's Ministry of Agriculture made the Seed Vault happen in Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Circle.

Its mission is to store seeds safely and make them accessible to experts around the world. Samples from each variety are stored in the vault and copies are held in national libraries. This makes up a large network that safeguards against biotechnological, natural, and human disasters.

This underground vault, nicknamed the “Doomsday” vault, currently holds over 1 million unique seed varieties. It's one of Earth’s most important stores for crop conservation and sustainability research.


The Seed Vault Terra is a state-of-the-art, safe seed storage facility located in Norway. It provides a secure place to store seeds and protect their availability for crop production in the future.

Let's explore the advantages of keeping seeds within the Seed Vault Terra and how it can assist us in preserving global food production:

Preservation of Crop Diversity

Tera's Seed Vault is an effort to protect crop diversity from climate change and ensure food safety for future generations. It stores seed samples from as many plant varieties as possible in an underground storage facility, temperature and humidity-controlled. This guarantees the survival of a strain of crop, even if its environment is not suitable. The vault provides multiple copies of each variety in different levels of maturity, so that it is ready to provide seeds with no delay.

The preservation of these seeds also increases genetic diversity, which helps to prevent disease outbreaks by providing slightly different versions of susceptible plants. This conservation stops the diminished crop-yielding potential from gene introgression.

The ultimate goal is sustainability – giving us pleasure without compromising the ability to feed future generations!

Global Food Security

The Seed Vault Tera is a project of the International Agricultural Research Centers. Its purpose is to protect global food security. It's an open source data platform, providing access to agricultural research data. This includes genetic information and genomic map data on crop varieties. It assists plant breeders and researchers to create new plants. These are better able to resist climate change, pests, illnesses, and other environmental stresses.

The project was built to protect seeds from climate change, pests, diseases, and other risks. It stores the seed info in a secure repository at the National Speech Air Monitoring Center (NSMRC) in Maryland, USA. This permits scientists worldwide to store valuable genetic information and plant material that would be lost otherwise. Accessible data helps enhance research into food security-related questions.

The technology also helps farmers to identify plants suitable for their environment. This increases yields and reduces production losses. It improves sustainability of food production systems and breeding/selection techniques. This leads to better safeguarding against climate change and other environmental changes affecting agriculture worldwide.

Climate Change Adaptation

The Seed Vault Tera is a project from Genesis and partners, to protect the food sources of the world from climate change. The main aim is to build the world's biggest seedbank, storing seeds from different places to maintain crop diversity for the coming generations.

Climate Change Adaptation includes:

  • Predict and get ready for a changing climate, to keep our future productivity and food security.
  • Proper seed management, to increase plants that can survive in new weather conditions and use newly cultivated varieties of crops as they come.
  • Data-analysis and predictive models to observe changing trends and study their effect on food production around the world.
  • Climate adaptation reducing the risks with pest infestations and soil salinization due to rising sea levels.

The Seed Vault Tera ensures global safety for our various sources of food by keeping the seeds undamaged. This way, crop diversity will stay intact – making sure sustainability and security for the later generations.


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located near Longyearbyen village. This is on Spitsbergen, an island off northern Norway. It is the world's largest seed depository. The capacity? 4.5 million seed samples! The vault opened in 2008. It safeguards the seeds from natural disaster, war and other disruptions caused by humans. The Norwegian government has invested lots into the facility.

This is the only place in the world that offers a secure and permanent solution for food crops from around the world.

Location of the Seed Vault Tera

The Seed Vault Tera is in the Svalbard archipelago of Norway. It was set up in 2008 by the Norwegian government and the Global Crop Diversity Trust and Nordic Genetic Resource Center. It can store up to 4.5 million types of seeds, so many plants with potential food sources are safe from misadventure or disasters.

The location is perfect for safety – it's in a mountain deep in the Arctic permafrost. This protects the seeds from war and pandemics. Plus, the temperature is always below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). Even if the power fails and the temperature rises, the seeds will still be alive. That's because they have low water content and are kept in freeze containers.

Features of the Location

Svalbard Global Seed Vault is one of the safest places to store seeds. It lies in an archipelago of islands off the coast of Northern Norway.

It has been chosen for various reasons:

  • Its climate is consistently cold and dry, which slows down the rate of seed decay.
  • It is difficult to access due to its remote location.
  • It is on a hillside and has two airlock systems, protecting against extreme weather.
  • The Vault is built into the rock face, ensuring seismic stability, protection from rising sea levels and shelter from extreme temperatures.
  • It consists of 870m tunnels, a laboratory, power system and refrigeration units, and is guarded with CCTV and sensors.


The Seed Vault Tera is a daring venture. Its mission? To safeguard the planet's genetic resources for food and farming. To do this, a secure underground facility was built. It's where the seeds can be stored for many years safely.

Here we'll talk about the construction of the Seed Vault Tera. We'll look at the design and materials used to guarantee the security and protection of the seed samples:

Cost of Construction

Constructing the Seed Vault Tera required a big financial investment. Norway leased state land for 125 years and constructed the site, which included an access tunnel and a nearby emergency power plant. The total cost was 67.8 million U.S. dollars. The Nordic Genetic Resource Center gave 40 million U.S. dollars, while Norway gave 24.6 million U.S. dollars. Norway also provided expertise in permeability assessment, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, and construction management services.

They will maintain the inside and outside of the site to make sure it remains an unbreachable storehouse for global crop seeds.

Design of the Seed Vault Tera

The Seed Vault Tera is a unique storage solution. It works to protect the world's crop diversity from climate change. It includes both structural and structural engineering systems. This makes sure it can survive extreme conditions.

It's made up of two metal chambers. These have reinforced walls and ceilings. Metal doors protect against fires, floods, and other environmental hazards. They have locks on both ends.

Design also takes into account materials science concepts. This includes thermal insulation and humidity control. This keeps temperatures stable near 0 degrees Celcius. Airbreakers prevent temperature fluctuations. Desiccant packs stop mold and mildew growth. This helps protect the seeds stored in the vault.

Security Measures

Tera construction is made to offer a secure environment for seed collections to stay safe long-term. Security is top-notch with an advanced locking system, CCTV monitoring, and external video surveillance.

The structure is made of a concrete casing 9 meters deep into solid bedrock. Inside is a steel reinforced concrete facility with a 5 meter ceiling and walls thicker than 1 meter. This is to protect the samples from natural disasters and other possible threats.

Access control consists of recognition technologies. Active identification protocols, multiple layers of authentication, restricted physical access, digital monitoring systems linked to security operations centers worldwide are in use.

Redundancies are also part of the design. Backup generators in case of power outages, dehumidification systems to prevent moisture damage, and trackless designs to prevent seismic events from disrupting its inner chambers.

Access and Use

The Seed Vault Tera is a secure online reserve of plant varieties and their seeds. Data can be freely accessed by anyone who desires it. There are lots of ways to use and access the data; from searching, to mapping and visualizing with enhanced tools.

In this article, we will explore how to access and utilize the Seed Vault Tera:

Who Can Access the Seed Vault Tera

The Seed Vault Tera is an online resource for people and organizations around the world.

Individuals who want to protect a seed diversity collection can access and use the services on the Seed Vault Tera. A unique username and password is needed to read or download data from the site. An internet connection is also needed.

Organizations, like research centers, universities, gene banks, and other institutes, must provide contact info and project details to register for the service. They should get legal help before using it, since copyright laws must be followed.

Once registered with the Seed Vault Tera and accepted its terms, organizations are responsible for linking to related data repositories or collections.

How to Access the Seed Vault Tera

The Seed Vault Tera is an online repository for plants. It has old and modern varieties from all over the world. Rules are in place to protect the genetic info stored.

To use the Seed Vault Tera, you must register. It's free. You must have formal education, experience in managing a plant collection, or experience with species conservation programs.

When logged in, you can use keywords to search and browse collections by region or crop type. Each set will show details, like disease resistance and strains available to buy. Third-party databases can be uploaded to the system too.

Users should take advice on sourcing seeds and look into authentication standards and inspection procedures before buying. Links in the resource database will show authorized entities and outlets.

How to Use the Seed Vault Tera

The Seed Vault Tera is a secure, cloud-based system for storing and managing seeds. It is built to protect important plant materials. Users can store, access, and use seeds quickly and securely. It is designed for organizations around the world that are involved in seed conservation and use.

Using the Seed Vault Tera is simple. Go to with an authorized account. Then follow these steps:

  1. Create user profile. Use your organization information for authorization.
  2. Add seed items. Upload checked seeds. Add information like origin year, variety number/description, and preservation status.
  3. Seek approval. Notify authorized users or administrators. They should approve the samples before they are used.
  4. Connect with staff resources. Use the network of advisors on the platform. Ask them for help with cultivation.
  5. Log usage activity. Track item history and log usage activity like breeding programs and stock movements.
  6. Reports & Analytics tool. Generate reports, metrics, and insights. Use graphical data from environmental conditions forecasts, satellite imagery, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Seed Vault Tera?

The Seed Vault Tera is a facility located on the island of Svalbard in Norway that serves as a backup storage for the world's crop seeds in case of a major disaster.

How does the Seed Vault Tera work?

The Seed Vault Tera works by storing duplicate samples of seed collections from around the world in a secure underground facility that is protected against natural disasters and human interference. The seeds are stored at a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius (-0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) to maintain their viability for decades, even centuries.

Who owns the Seed Vault Tera?

The Seed Vault Tera is owned by the Norwegian government, specifically the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. However, the facility is managed by the Crop Trust, an independent organization that works to safeguard crop diversity around the world.

Who can access the Seed Vault Tera?

Access to the Seed Vault Tera is extremely limited and carefully controlled. Only authorized personnel from the genebanks that have contributed to the seed collections are allowed to enter the facility, and they must follow strict protocols to prevent contamination.

Why is the Seed Vault Tera important?

The Seed Vault Tera is important because it serves as a backup storage for the world's crop seeds, which are essential for food security and the preservation of global biodiversity. With climate change and other threats to crop diversity, having a secure and reliable seed bank becomes increasingly important.

How many seeds are stored in the Seed Vault Tera?

The Seed Vault Tera currently holds more than one million seed samples from around the world, representing over 5,000 different plant species. The collections include crops like wheat, rice, and corn, as well as wild plant species that are important for conservation and research.

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