HomeGlobal Seed VaultAll seeds are safe

All seeds are safe

Date: 23.05.2017 Author: Åsmund Asdal Category: Global Seed Vault

In response to recent media attention about a warmer climate in Svalbard and water intrusion in the Global Seed Vault entrance tunnel, the partners behind the Seed Vault decided to give a joint statement, see below. It is confirmed that the seeds are safe and informed that construction improvements have started in order to make the Seed Vault adapted to future climate change.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault in sunny,but cold weather in May 2017

Statement on Water Intrusion at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the world’s backup for crop collections. It currently safeguards more than 930,000 different varieties. It has been reported that the Seed Vault has seen water intrusion due to melting permafrost. The Royal Ministry of Agriculture and Food in Norway, the Crop Trust, and NordGen would like to assure seed depositors and the public that the seeds are completely safe and no damage has been done to the facility. The Royal Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Statsbygg, Norway, is taking appropriate measures to ensure the protection of the Seed Vault and improve the construction to prevent future incidents. Globally, the Seed Vault is, and will continue to be, the safest backup of crop diversity.


Pål Vidar Sollie, Director General, The Royal Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Norway

Marie Haga, Executive Director, The Crop Trust

Lise Lykke Steffensen, Executive Director, NordGen

Hege Njaa Aschim, Director of Communications, Statsbygg, Norway

Construction improvements

In order to prevent water from coming into the entrance of the Seed Vault construction in the future, Statsbygg, which is the Norwegian government’s property manager and developer, have started on a series of measures and building operations and improvements; removal of heart sources, drainage measures and a new watertight wall. More details about ongoing work can be found on Statsbyggs webpages.