The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a strong symbol of the importance of conserving plant genetic resources for human food supplies for future survival.
Due to this, media and journalists are given access to the Seed Vault when the purpose is increasing public awareness and political will to support global efforts for conserving plant diversity and utilizing it to develop food production.
Because the Seed Vault is an unstaffed facility, media visits are organised along with and at the same time as other tasks that are carried out at the Seed Vault. Media visits must be arranged with NordGen, the Seed Vaults operational manager. Visits are mainly set up to coincide with the pre-announced occasions when new seeds from gene banks are deposited in the Seed Vault.
Journalists and artists
NordGen usually organizes three Seed Vault openings during the year; the first one in February/March, the second in the spring and the last one in late autumn. Options for receiving media at other times are minimal.
During the years since the Seed Vault was opened in 2008, NordGen and partners have conducted more than 200 Seed Vault media tours for TV, radio, photographers and video producers, journalists from newspapers and magazines, and artists who display pieces of art related to the Seed Vault at exhibitions and other events.
Long term planning needed
Journalists and artists who wish to visit the Seed Vault in connection with their work are advised to make requests for visits before making bookings for travelling. Many journalists have been unable to visit the Seed Vault because NordGen had no staff present at the time of their stay in Svalbard.
Journalists and artists who want to visit the interior of the Seed Vault will have to describe their projects and publication plans, document their affiliation, and prove their identity before a tour in the vault can be approved.
The Seed Vault is not available for commercial purposes.