The Norwegian government will hollow out a cave on the ice-bound island of Spitsbergen to hold the seed bank. It will be designed to withstand global catastrophes like nuclear war or natural disasters that would destroy the planet’s sources of food.
Seed collection is being organised by the Global Crop Diversity Trust. “What will go into the cave is a copy of all the material that is currently in collections [spread] all around the world,” Geoff Hawtin of the Trust told the BBC’s Today programme. Mr Hawtin said there were currently about 1,400 seed banks around the world, but a large number of these were located in countries that were either politically unstable or that faced threats from the natural environment.” (BBC)