Purpose, Operations and Organisation

Purpose, operations and organisation

The Purpose (0:44)

Our Purpose

We offer safe, free and long-term storage of seed duplicates from all genebanks and nations participating in the global community’s joint effort to ensure the world’s future food supply. The facility serves a humanitarian purpose and is part of the international system for conserving plant genetic diversity guided by the UN organisation for Food and Agriculturen (FAO). While there may be a role for the Seed Vault in the event of a global catastrophe, its value is considered to lie much more in providing back-up to individual collections in the event that the original samples, and their duplicates in conventional genebanks, are lost due to natural disasters, human conflict, changing policies, mismanagement, or any other circumstances.

Our Operations

All gene banks holding sustainable seed collections are invited to deposit duplicates of their seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The Organisation

The Government of Norway established and fully funded the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The overall responsibility for the Seed Vault rests with the government, under the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Daily operations are overseen by the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre (NordGen) under an agreement between the Ministry, NordGen and the Crop Trust (formerly the Global Crop Diversity Trust) which partly provide funding for the Seed Vault’s management.

In addition, the management is overseen by an International Advisory Panel, representing depositing gene banks and stakeholders, that meets regularly for consultations.

The Partners providing for the management, operation, mainentance
and long-term funding of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault