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International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Arctic seed vault turning 10 faces 'unprecedented' agricultural challenges

27/02/2018

LONGYEARBYEN, Norway, Feb 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A cavernous bunker on a remote island above the Arctic Circle, where polar bears roam, holds the key to 12,000 years of agriculture but also to food supplies for future generations with countries urged to deposit seed samples there.

Welcome to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which turned 10 on Monday. It holds nearly one million seed samples from the world's gene banks - an agricultural back-up in the event of disasters ranging from nuclear war to climate change.

"It's fair to say that agriculture has never, ever faced bigger challenges than today," Marie Haga, executive director of The Crop Trust, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

 

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