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Picture of The Svalbard Seed Vault in Norway. Photo courtesy of The Crop Trust

IITA makes seed deposits at Svalbard Global Seed Vault 10-year anniversary

A celebration to mark the tenth anniversary of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, including a “Seed Vault Summit” and the Seed Vault Foundation Stone Ceremony, will take place from 25 to 27 February at the facilities in Longyearbyen, Norway. IITA Head of the Genetic Resources Center (GRC), Michael Abberton, will attend the symbolic seed deposition along with other depositors and partners from around the world.

Picture of The Svalbard Seed Vault in Norway. Photo courtesy of The Crop Trust

The Svalbard Seed Vault in Norway. Photo courtesy of The Crop Trust

At the Foundation Stone Ceremony, gene banks have been invited to add seeds to the Seed Vault Foundation Stone. This is a glass cylinder filled with seeds to commemorate the 2006 decision to build the Seed Vault, now housed at the Svalbard Museum. IITA, which has an extensive amount of its GRC collection duplicated at Svalbard, has been depositing seeds at the Seed Vault over the past 10 years and will be making a large deposit to the gene bank as well as adding a symbolic deposit to the Foundation Stone tube.

According to Abberton: “IITA has around 85% of our seed collection already duplicated at Svalbard, which includes cowpea, maize, soybean, bambara groundnut, Africa yam bean, and other legumes.”
Picture of GRC Head Michael Abberton pointing to the location of Svalbard archipelago on the world map. Photo by O.Adebayo, IITA.

GRC Head Michael Abberton pointing to the location of Svalbard archipelago on the world map. Photo by O.Adebayo, IITA.

He added, “The importance of the place is that it acts as a global back-up for the diversity of the seeds of the world’s most important crops.”

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seed bank on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago, which is close to the North Pole. The seed vault is an attempt to ensure against the loss of seeds in other gene banks during large-scale regional or global crises. Visit the Crop Trust website for more information.

Crop TrustIITA News no. 2432Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Communications • 28th February 2018


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