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InternationalThe seed bank

November 1, 2015

People save money in a bank. But a cold Arctic island in Norway has a different kind of bank. It is called the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, and it is very important. It stores seeds from all over the world. Plants from these seeds provide food for the world.

People built the vault deep into a mountain in 2008. It is a place to keep seeds safe from war, natural disasters, or disease. More than 860,000 different types of seeds are in the vault today. In a future emergency, seeds from the vault can be planted again. It is a type of food backup plan.

So recently, a group asked to withdraw seeds from the vault. Researchers from Syria asked for “samples of wheat, barley and grasses suited to dry regions.” The terrible war there is responsible for killing nearly 250,000 people and damaging many buildings, including the seed bank in Aleppo. They want 130 boxes to put in their new bank in Morocco.

There are about 1,700 seeds banks in the world, but the seed vault in Norway is the safest. It is very difficult to get to, and the cold mountain provides strong protection.

To see the vault and look inside, click this link.

Published November 2015

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