Global Seed Vault Opens in Norway

It reminds me of Petra, Jordan.

Thinking about climate change, GMOs, famine, war, and drought is depressing, but seeing projects like this come to fruition makes you feel all ooey-gooey inside.

As a service to humanity, Norway has taken it upon themselves to store billions of seeds in three caverns (20m by 10m by 6m high) blown out in the side of a mountain. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, located on an isolated island off the northeast coast of Greenland, received its inaugural shipment of seeds today from around the world: 47,000 strains of wheat from Mexico, 30,000 bean varieties from Columbia, 30,000 seed samples of barley from the Middle East, and many many more.

Of course, what would be a giant seed repository without some fun installation artwork?

[fiber optic cable installation care of Dyveke Sanne]

Check out the Seed Bank’s website here, and news coverage here.


Related Topics


Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice:

2 Responses to “Global Seed Vault Opens in Norway”

  1. Martin Twigg

    Not everyone is happy about the seed bank:

    “Doomsday aside, it is important to ask who really benefits from the ex situ system that the Vault contributes to. As the few transnational seed corporations that control over half the world’s US $30 billion annual commercial seed market are increasingly buying up public plant breeding programmes and governments are pulling out of plant breeding, the ultimate beneficiaries will be the very same corporations that are at the roots of crop diversity destruction.”

    On a related note, here is an article about the troubling realities of peak grain (imagine peak oil, except with food):

  2. Dave Semeniuk

    Thanks for article Martin,

    …it is important to ask who really benefits from the ex situ system that the Vault contributes to…

    That said, this doesn’t mean biodiversity is any less of an issue, does it?

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.