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The Informatica blog - Authored by Claudiu Popa

On Food Security and the Role of the Global Seed Bank

What do you know about food security? Same here. Located in the permafrost of a remote Norwegian island, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault provides secure storage for a quarter billion seeds (source: Croptrust.org) from all over the world. Global Seed bank food security

The awesome reality is that these grains of life could one day serve to revitalize plant life on Earth or kickstart it on a habitable celestial body. While the prospect of terraforming natural satellites like Europa and Enceladus is alluring, astrobiology isn't nearly as immediately heart-warming as the fact that this Arctic freezer is bringing together diverse crops from over 100 countries, many of which wouldn't otherwise see eye to eye on anything.

According to Wikipedia: "The Svalbard Global Seed Vault's mission is to provide a safety net against accidental loss of diversity in traditional genebanks. While the popular press has emphasized its possible utility in the event of a major regional or global catastrophe, it will certainly be more frequently accessed when genebanks lose samples due to mismanagement, accident, equipment failures, funding cuts and natural disasters. Such events occur with some regularity. In recent years, some national genebanks have also been destroyed by war and civil strife."

The vault's collection includes the seeds of Irish potatoes, US chili peppers, ancient amaranth and just about everything you can think of. For striving to ensure the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide, a great many parties can be recognized for their efforts (The Gates Foundation, the Norwegian government, and others), but the initial vision belonged to one man: Cary Fowler. You can view the TED video here but be sure to also check out these cool images of the place: http://popa.ca/Sva1bard.
Here's a remarkable story by Thomas Heatherwick on a fascinating design for a seed cathedral. The great designer tells a compelling story about big ideas, compelling, engaging, emotional creations.

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