Saturday, February 10, 2007

Doomsday vault: “If the worst came to the worst, the seed vault would allow the world to reconstruct agriculture on this planet”



Together with the air we breathe and the water we drink, crop diversity is one of the most fundamentally important resources for human life on earth.This diversity is awe inspiring - there are more than 100,000 varieties of rice alone. It provides the natural, biological basis of our ability to grow the food required today, as well as to meet the challenges of population growth, changing climates and constantly evolving pests and diseases.

No country in the world is self-sufficient in crop diversity – agriculture everywhere depends on it. Yet this diversity, contained and stored in seeds, is at risk of disappearing. But we don’t have to sit back and let this happen.

WITHIN a large concrete room, hewn out of a mountain on a freezing-cold island just 1000 kilometres from the North Pole, could lie the future of humanity.

The room is a "doomsday vault" designed to hold around 2 million seeds, representing all known varieties of the world's crops. It is being built to safeguard the world's food supply against nuclear war, climate change, terrorism, rising sea levels, earthquakes and the ensuing collapse of electricity supplies. "If the worst came to the worst, this would allow the world to reconstruct agriculture on this planet," says Cary Fowler, director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an independent international organisation promoting the project.

Read more at The Global Crop Diversity Trust
More images at The Global Crop Diversity Trust

No comments: