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Archive for the ‘biodiversity’ Category

Svalbard Seedbank opens, protecting biodiversity from around the world

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.