The World has already over 1,700 gene-banks holding collections of food crops for safekeeping. Many of these are, however, vulnerable, exposed for disasters as well as natural catastrophes and war. The so-called World Arctic Archive has, since 1984, stored backup Nordic plant germplasm via frozen seeds in an abandoned coal mine at Svalbard.
More than 10,000 seed samples of more than 2,000 cultivars for 300 species have since
1984 been deposed. Now the Doomsday Vault has expanded and don’t only store seeds but archiving data using developed film. Now a country can upload tests, images or audio-visual content to special servers. These data will be transferred to a special film that is designed to withstand significant wear and tear.
Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland’s prime ministers ceremonially laid “the first stone” on 19 June 2006. On 1 January 2008 the Nordic Gene Bank was integrated with NordGen. The purpose of the Vault is to store duplicates (backups) of seed samples from the world’s crop collections.
Analog storage is generally considered more future proof than digital, and as long the internet and servers are still functioning, the data will remain searchable online in the event that the planet suffers some sort of catastrophic reset.
The seedbank is 120 meters (390 ft) inside a sandstone mountain on Spitsbergen Island, and employs robust security systems. Seeds are packaged in special three-ply foil packets and heat sealed to exclude moisture. The facility is managed by the Nordic Genetic Resource Center, though there is no permanent staff on-site.
Permafrost and thick rock ensure that the seed samples will remain frozen even without power. A feasibility study prior to construction determined that the vault could, for hundreds of years, preserve most major food crops’ seeds. Some, including those of important grains, could survive far longer—possibly thousands of years. The Vault is the ultimate insurance policy for the world’s food supply, offering options for future generations to overcome the challenges of climate change and population growth.
In 2015, the first withdrawal of seeds from the Global Seed Vault occurred. Samples of wheat, barley, and grasses were sent to replace seeds in a gene bank in Aleppo that was damaged in the ongoing Syrian Civil war
Mexico and Brazil are the only countries that so far have submitted to the expanded vault. Brazil has submitted historical documents like the Brazilian Constitution and Mexico has submitted important documents that date all the way back to the Inca period.
The Doomsday Vault in Norway That Stores Crops and Data, written by Tor Kjolberg