Now Norway’s so-called “apocalyptic” seed bank is receiving its largest sample of seeds since a major upgrade in 2019,media Outlet The Verge reported. The seed bank will have more than 60,000 seed samples from 36 different teams, most of which send their seeds to The Svalbard’s global seed bank at once. They include the Cherokee, the first tribe to settle in the United States. The agricultural sector from Thailand, the United States and Ireland, as well as universities and research centres from Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Lebanon and elsewhere, will also contribute.
The seed bank was created to protect the DNA of the world’s crops, to ensure species diversity and to ensure that there is always enough food on the planet for human consumption. From floods to war and power outages, any disaster could leave seeds in the gene pool of more than 1,700 regions around the world vulnerable. As a result, many of them keep backup copies in Svalbard. The Crop Trust, an international non-profit organization, says climate change has created a new urgency to save these food crops. The non-profit organization manages the seed bank in cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Nordic Centre for Genetic Resources.
“Of course, climate change is a huge concern for global agriculture,” said Hannes Dempewolf, head of the Crop Trust’s global program. In addition to preserving a wide variety of species, seeds in seed banks can help plant breeders produce crops that are more resistant to the effects of emerging pests, diseases and climate change. Future crops may require more drought, heat and saline soil (due to sea level rise).
The Cherokees are storing nine seeds that predate European colonial times. The tribe uses native plants to maintain its seed bank, a species that is vital to its history, culture, and tradition. The tribe’s most sacred corn and the oldest species, the Cherokee White Eagle corn, will be stored. In the “Road to Blood and Tears”, the Cherokees brought corn out because they were forced to leave their land. “From now on, these seeds will remain in our history, and the world will always be part of the Cherokee nation,” said Chuck Hoskin Jr., secretary-general of the Cherokee’s government. In a statement earlier this month, said.
Since its opening in 2008, the seed banks of the Svalbard Islands have accumulated seeds representing more than 5,000 species. They are stored in a cave and are structured to prevent natural disasters as much as possible. (The Svalbard Islands in the Arctic Also have a data file.) The seed bank is artificially cooled to minus 18 degrees Celsius to preserve the seeds, but even if power is lost, the rocks and permafrost around the seed bank should keep them frozen.
Climate change has tested how indestructible the seed bank is. In 2017, melted permafrost enters the passageway to the vault. Fortunately, the water freezes before it breaks through the vault itself.
After that, Norway committed about 10 million euros to make the vault more fault-safe. The channel tunnel is more waterproof and its cooling system has been upgraded. The upgrade was completed last year and eventually cost 20 million euros. The seeds added on Monday are the first major seed samples since the upgrade.