Okay, I am not being pessimistic or warning you some kind of inevitable doomsday like in The Terminator or The Day After Tomorrow. Still, there is always a possibility of such a disaster. It’s always a wise decision to be prepared for the worst – no one knows the future!
What would we do in case of such an apocalypse? Even if a few lucky (or unlucky!) ones survive, how would they overcome the menace that follows?
It seems that Norway has figured out a smart solution. Deep in the harsh icy terrain in the North Pole, there remains a vault that holds the answer.
No, they are not storing oil, coal, gas, or precious jewels – it’s the collection of our 13,000 years of agricultural history! The Global Seed Vault or better known as the Doomsday Vault in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway, stores millions and billions of seeds of more than 930,000 variants of plants.
The place of the vault was carefully chosen so that none can destroy it over petty wars.
Marie Haga, the executive director of the Crop Trust, justifies the location of the vault by saying, “It is away from the places on earth where you have war and terror, everything maybe you are afraid of in other places. It is situated in a safe place.”
Currently, hundreds of crops are getting vanquished from our earth, and we are going through mini apocalypses every single day. For example, about 10% of the rice variations are seen in China compared to the variations in the 1950s. We have forsaken those breeds due to their low harvest quantity. The Vault has a massive collection of over 200,000 varieties of rice only!
Similarly, the US has lost about 90% of the fruits and vegetable varieties over the last 100 years. Again, the culprit is monoculture farming. Haga sheds light on this matter, “Not too many think about crop diversity as being so fundamentally important, but it is. It is almost as important as water and air. Seeds generally are the basis for everything. Not only what we eat, but what we wear, nature all about us.”
Another great news is that The Svalbard seed vault isn’t the only vault in the world. You can find about 1,700 similar types of vaults across the globe. They are better known as “gene banks.” Although The Svalbard vault started operating in 2008, the idea was conceived in the 1980s by a visionary named Cary Fowler. He served as a former executive director at the Crop Trust.
You should also thank the Norwegian Government for their relentless contribution. They even fully-funded the construction of the seed vault. The Doomsday Vault ensures complete safety. It is built 150-meter-deep into the mountain core. Brian Lainoff, the lead partnerships coordinator, says,” They are cold and safe up there, and that’s all that really matters.”