Lab workers at a seed bank in Mexico, sorting through seeds and selecting high-protein corn kernels for preservation in cold storage units. (Photo: Cutberto Garcia Ramos/USAID)
Bobby Bascomb reports on Norway’s decision to put away some seed funds in the form of a two million species seed bank.
BASCOMB: The barren Arctic Circle will soon become one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world- for seeds that is.
Norway plans to build a seed bank on remote Spitsbergen Island. Just 600 miles from the North Pole, it is an ideal location for what will be the largest seed repository in the world. The island’s permafrost condition will keep the seeds dry and frozen no matter what happens to the rest of the world.
The Norwegian facility will accommodate 2 million seeds; mostly food producing plants, making it the largest of the world’s 1300 seed banks.
The 3 million dollar facility will act as a sort of seed savings and loan. Countries will be able to deposit and withdraw seeds as needed. Norway will own and operate the seed bank. However, they don’t seem too concerned about a stick up. According to management, the bank won’t have any security guards, other than an occasional polar bear.
That’s this week’s note on emerging science. I’m Bobby Bascomb
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Newsletter [Click here]
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth