Spitsbergen, Norway, summer

Spitsbergen, Norway, in the summertime.
Image: Shutterstock

Have you ever wondered what would happen if there were a nuclear disaster that wiped out the entirety of the world’s crops and seeds?  Would we be doomed to starve?  Some brilliant conservationists have already considered the possibility and created a contingency plan.

The government of Norway funded a safe, cold storage facility for copies of all the seeds from around the world. It is known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. This free storage site is located on the island of Spitsbergen, Norway, next to the Arctic Circle so that it acts as its own freezer.  Governments from all over the world have already deposited hundreds of thousands of seeds, making Svalbard the most extensive seed bank in the world.

However, you can’t have any of the seeds unless you deposited them.  So, forget about stockpiling your own seed vault.  If you do, you might be stuck with the garden variety.  Still…nothing wrong with a healthy supply of summer squash, zucchini and carrots any day.

To learn more about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, check out the group’s profile on Environmental Watch!