About the changing world all around us

Norway’s Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg had the honor of unlocking the Svalbard Global Seed Vault today, alongwith African Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, along with dignitaries from around the world placed seeds in the vault which lays 130 meters deep inside a frozen mountain.

RennyBA in Svalbard

My husband RennyBA in Svalbard

The opening ofthe seed vault is part of an effort to protectthe plantet’s rapidly diminishing biodiversity. The deversity of our crops which is essential for food production is being lost due to deforestation, and speciallisation within the food industries. This vault located on the remote island of Svalbard in the Arctic Circle with protect seeds from over 100 countries so these plants will not disappear from the earth.

The deposits range from unique varieties of major African and Asian maize, rice, wheat, cowpea and sorghum to European and South American eggplant, lettuce, barley and potato. The deposits represent the most comprehensive and diverse collection of food crop seeds held anywhere in the world. The vault now contains 268,000 distinct samples of seeds, each one originating from a different farm or field.

Wikipedia picture of entrance
Picture of the entrance to the vault
If you would like to read more about this project on the Norwegian Governments pages in English click here!
What are your thoughts on biodiversity? Biodiversity is defined as the number and variety of living organisms; including genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecological diversity. Today species are now becoming extinct at an alarming rate, almost entirely as a direct result of human activities. Previous mass extinctions evident in the geological record are thought to have been brought about mainly by massive climatic or environmental shifts. Mass extinctions as a direct consequence of the activities of a single species are unprecedented in geological history.
How can we stop this rapid change? Do you think that diversity in the types of food we eat is essential to our health? Your thoughts on the subject are welcome as always!!
UPDATE: I’m not the only one blogging about this project, stop in and visit Fresh Mess and RennyBA’s Terella and A Changing Life to read how we are preserving other seeds for biodiversity around the world.

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Comments on: "Svalbard Seedbank opens, protecting biodiversity from around the world" (15)

  1. […] adamsmith1922 wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptNorway’s Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg had the honor of unlocking the Svalbard Global Seed Vault today, alongwith African Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, along with dignitaries from around the world placed seeds in the vault which lays 130 meters deep inside a frozen mountain. […]

  2. Couldn’t quite work out which one was Renny in the photograph!

    This is such a wonderful project – Noah’s Ark for seeds. We hear so much about animals which are in danger but rarely about plants. It will be too late to do anything after they are extinct so acting early is vital.

    Every time I read the word ‘Svalbard’ though, I think of the armoured bears in the fantastic children’s book ‘Northern Lights’, part of the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy by Philip Pullman. Don’t suppose Renny spotted any did he…..? 🙂

    DianeCA: Ahhh we didnt see any armored bears, and fortunately no polor bears even though they are out there!! If he saw armord bears, I suspect he drank too much whiskey!! LOL

  3. I am totally in favor of this project. You see, we all need the diverse foods of the world. Be they animal, vegetable or mineral. How sad it would be to lose something and never be able to bring it back. Yes, we must act now to protect our future.

    DianeCA: The shocking truth is that we are losing diversity. Mass food production and large scale farming favor plants that produce the mest for the least cost. This means the loss of thosands of varieties of plant life which earlier have been a part of our diet. Our diets are not the same as they were when we were children, the food we eat is changing. We can protect it by buying locak. buying organic and telling our governments that we don’t want mass farming to change our culture anymore.

  4. Hey: where did you find that pics dear ?!?! 😆
    To Diane: I’m the one with the red hat in the middle. My wife says: ‘I’m sorry I forgot all us Norwegian looks alike’ 😉
    I so much remember that wonderful trip – a once in a life time experience!

    DianeCA: Yes my dear…all you vikings look alike LOL at least in your snowsuits!! The Pic is Renny’s of course but he looks so cool out with that iceberg.

  5. I’ve heard of this project before, Diane, and think it’s a wonderful idea. I’d love to hear more about it, though, to get more informed. Thanks for reminding me.

    DianeCA:
    Glad you could make it in, I know you are busy right now. We can all help biodiversity by purchasing local foods and supporting traditionally grown fruits and veggies!

  6. This is the first time I read this and what a wonderful idea to place seeds in the vault. Just like time capsule but this is even better.

    It is a sad thing that our children are ‘choosy’ over the types of food we eat of yester-years, too much junk food, deep fried food etc. Simplicty is bliss and more healthy too so yes, say YES to traditional food 😀

    Thank you for sharing this, it certainly raises awareness to people all over the world 😀

    DianeCA: I remembered the time capsule thing too. You know you are getting old when the time capsule we made at school to be opened 20 years in the future has been opened!!!

  7. Way to go, Renny! I don’t know which one is him though. As far as making a change in the world, good grief. There is so much we do as humans that is wrong…I actually don’t think about it enough to provide an answer. But, you made me think, and that could be what matters here!

    DianeCA:
    Good grief 🙂 Glad we make you think 😉 Renny was at Svalbard about 7 years ago? He is the cute one LOL….the one with the red hat and taken his goggles off.

  8. Such an important topic! I have just posted a follow up to Svalbard because not every plant has seeds eg the banana and plantain families. They are kept at Leuvan in Belgium as the primary genebank, and at Montpellier in France as a back up. Preservation of biodiversity is a huge topic, and fascinating, and definitely essential.

    How wonderful that Renny was able to be there. i am so jealous 🙂

    DianeCA: First I was totally sure that I answered your comment last night but I see on my sight no answer is there….mysteries of the net….anyway thanks for bring up the bananas…we sure don’t wanna lose them! I am also envious of Renny…would like a trip to see it myself.

  9. Hello Diane! Like you said, we’re on the same team regarding this new project of the Norwegian government. And what makes this project special is its value of sustainable development, something our children’s children could reap the rewards of. 🙂 Linking you!

    DianeCA:
    I think its a great project, a really good location because it is so far away from everything else and frozen more or less deep in the ground. Linking back at ya!! Oh buy the way I did get a great jacket at Stress…no shoes though…were pretty picked over, you must’ve bought the good ones!

  10. I read about it in the plane and thought of you guys!

    At first, I thought it was great idea, and a technological prowess. Then, thinking about it, it’s still great but kinda sad… that we have to take things away so that we don’t destroy them.

    Oh, and jealous that Renny was there too! That must be quite a trip!

    DianeCA: Well the good thing about seed is they grow ‘on trees’ or rather plants, grow one plant and you have seeds for the future! Think of this like a world plant bank, the seeds are deposited there until needed for withdrawal. I am jealous of Renny’s trip too…would love to go!! Was a boys trip so I didnt go with him the first time. Visit his blog and see his pics from that trip.

  11. […] Click to read my wife’s post about the event and even our friend […]

    DianeCA:
    Thanks for hookin me up dear!

  12. Thanks so much for the link Diane. I have added yours to my post as well 🙂

    DianeCA: Thank you too, I think our posts fill eachother out nicely!

  13. […] You can off course read about my Arctic adventures and the Seed Vault on my blog and on Diane’s blog! […]

    DianeCA:
    Thanks for linkin here!

  14. Hello Diane! It is my first time to be in your blog. I read about it as well on VG as I said on Mark’s blog. Also I followed your link from there.

    DianeCA: Hey Chase! Glad the boys dragged you in! You’re an honored guest here as well. thanks for stopping by!

  15. We heard about a few days ago at the informations on TV. This is really a marvelous project. Biodiversity must be protected. This is the solution for our futur. And Renny is on the photo! Nice! Perhaps we saw him on TV when we watched the reportage!

    DianeCA: Of course it has been on the TV a lot here as well. Friday we had a one hour special on the seed vault with background from building it, planning it, and the opening. It is actually a challenge to get other countries to contribute their seeds, some are very protective of their species and afraid that the seeds will be misuesd. For example to steal their specialized crops. However in the end there was confidence in the agreement and the many tons of seeds began coming in!!

    Renny’s picture is from and earlier visit to Svalbard. He is the tallest one. He wasn’t there now when the seed vault was open, but he had a real experience of being in an artic landscape when he was there.

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