The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is may be the strongest symbol of the importance of conserving plant genetic resources for food supplies needed for human survival in the future. Due to this, media and journalists are given limited access to the Seed Vault, with the purpose of increasing public awareness and political will to support global efforts for utilizing plant resources and to develop food production.
The Seed Vault is an unstaffed facility and media tours are organised along with and at the same times as other tasks carried out at the Seed Vault. Visits are mainly facilitated at occasions when new seeds from gene banks are deposited in the Vault, at the so called Seed Vault openings that are announced long time in advance. Normally, NordGen organizes three Seed Vault openings during the year; the first one in February/March, the second in April/May and the last one in October. See dates at the Calendar site.
During the years since the Seed Vault was opened in 2008, NordGen and partners have conducted more than 200 Seed Vault tours for different kinds of media; TV, radio, photographers and video producers, journalists from newspapers and magazines and artists of different kinds, displaying pieces of art related to the Seed Vault at exhibitions and other events.
Journalists and artists that are planning to go to Svalbard for presenting the Seed Vault on different platforms, are strongly recommended to make requests for visits before making bookings for travelling to Svalbard. Many journalists have been unable to visit the Seed Vault because NordGen had no staff present at the time of their stay in Svalbard.
Journalists and artists that want to visit the interior of the Seed Vault will have to describe their projects and publication plans, to document affiliation and to prove identities before a tour in the vault can be approved. The Seed Vault is not available and cannot be used for commercial purposes.