The "Noah's Ark Plant" crosses the million varieties

The Svalbard World Seed Reserve, a precious "Noah's Ark Plant" protecting the genetic diversity of conflicts and natural disasters, crossed the million seed samples deposited on its 10th anniversary Monday. 19659002] In near-polar temperatures, more than 70,000 new samples of rice, wheat, maize, cowpea or sorghum seeds have reached the fortified lair on this archipelago of the Arctic midway between mainland Norway and North Pole.

With this new arrival, the "Last Judgment Vault" – as it is also nicknamed–, buried more than 120 meters inside a mountain, received in ten years of There are 1,059,646 varieties of cultures stored in boxes on shelves.

"I am very pleased to announce that more than a million seeds have gone through this door to be permanently safe. Norway's Minister of Agriculture, Jon Georg Dale, welcomed the solemn deposit.

This most diverse collection of seeds in the world is a safety net for the approximately 1,700 genebanks in the world. the world in the face of the risks of natural disasters, wars, climate change, men's diseases or disabilities

The warehouse is the property of Norway but the seeds belong to the States and depository institutions, which may recover at their convenience.

The World Seed Reserve has so far been solicited by only one institution: the gene bank of the city of Aleppo having been damaged by the Syrian conflict, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (Icarda) asked to recover seeds.

As a result, the arch currently contains 967,216 seed varieties. It can accommodate about 4.5 million.

Designed to resist disasters, the attic of the planet has itself been a victim of global warming: the increase in temperatures in the Arctic has resulted in a melting of permafrost (ground supposed to be frozen permanently) and caused a water leak at the entrance of the tunnel in 2016, without any seed being damaged.

Oslo announced Friday the release of 100 million crowns (about 10 million) in 2018 to carry out work, including the construction of a new access tunnel and the erection of a service building to keep heat sources away.