Friday, June 27, 2008

Talk of the Nation: 'Doomsday' Seed Vault Opens in the Arctic

'Doomsday' Seed Vault Opens in the Arctic
Talk of the Nation (NPR)

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, nicknamed "the doomsday seed vault" by some, aims to preserve samples of seeds from around the world to protect the planet's crop diversity. The frozen vault has begun accepting seeds for storage.

The structure is located near the village of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, a group of islands nearly 1,000 kilometers north of mainland Norway. The vault was dug into the side of a mountain and is surrounded by permafrost and thick rock.

Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, says the opening of the seed vault "marks a historic turning point in safeguarding the world's crop diversity."

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