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Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the largest backup facility for the world’s crop diversity. Here, duplicates of seeds stored in genebanks are kept for long-term storage to contribute to securing the world’s food supply.

NordGen is responsible for operating the Seed Vault in cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the international organization Crop Trust.

Globally, there are about 1 700 genebanks which, just as NordGen, work to conserve and promote the sustainable use of plant genetic resources important for our food and agriculture. But wars, conflicts, nature disasters as floodings, climate change, fires and certain political decisions or lack of resources lead to risks for the genebanks, which see an increasing need for securing their seed collections in more than one place.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault offers free-of-charge, long-term storage of seed duplicates from international, national and regional genebanks and institutions. The ownership of the seeds remains with the depositing genebank. In the Seed Vault they are stored under so called black box conditions, meaning that only the institution that deposited the seeds has access and is allowed to withdraw them.

NordGen is the Nordic countries’ genebank and knowledge center for genetic resources. Our role in the Seed Vault partnership is to handle the contacts with the genebanks, handle seed deposits and update the Seed Portal – a publicly accessible database gathering information about the seeds stored in the Seed Vault.