Arctic Seed Vault Replenished

Arctic Seed Vault ReplenishedArctic Seed Vault Replenished

The vault storing the world's most precious seeds is taking delivery on Monday of donations that will take it to the 1 million mark.

More than 70,000 crops will be added to frozen storage chambers buried deep within a mountain in the Arctic Circle.

Monday marks the 10th anniversary of the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, BBC reported.

More than a million different food crops have been deposited by 73 institutions since February 2008, but only one withdrawal has been made.

About 90,000 seeds were withdrawn to make up for precious samples stranded in Syria due to the conflict there.

"Hitting the million mark is really significant," said Hannes Dempenwolf, senior scientist of the Crop Trust, an international organization dedicated to conserving the diversity of essential crops.

Crop diversity is crucial for safeguarding the future of the world's food supply amid pressures such as drought and climate change.

The reinforced vault is designed to hold back-ups of samples stored elsewhere in seed banks around the world.

The vault opens about twice a year for deposits.

Scientists estimate that there are about 2.2 million varieties of crops in the world's gene banks that will eventually be deposited at Svalbard.

"Safeguarding such a huge range of seeds means scientists will have the best chance of developing nutritious and climate-resilient crops that can ensure future generations don't just survive, but thrive," said Marie Haga, executive director of the Crop Trust.


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