• Press Release

The Purpose of the Global Seed Vault


NCWF’s Island Wildlife chapter will host a special presentation by Åsmund Asdal, coordinator of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. The presentation will cover the purpose of the global seed vault and the importance of safeguarding the world’s genetic plant diversity followed by a short conversation with Island Wildlife chapter president Virginia Holman, and Q&A from the audience. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault facilitates security conservation of seeds, comprising genetic material of importance for food and agriculture.


The Svalbard Global Seed Vault serves a humanitarian purpose and is part of the international system for conserving plant genetic diversity guided by the UN Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO). The seed vault provides backup to individual collections in the event that the original samples and their duplicates in conventional gene banks are lost due to natural disasters, human conflict, changing policies, mismanagement, or any other circumstance. According to The Economist, the Svalbard vault is a backup for the world’s 1,750 seed banks, storehouses of agricultural biodiversity.


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