The SDG Advocates Group consists of 17 influential public figures, appointed by the UN Secretary General and committed to raising awareness, inspiring greater ambition, and pushing for faster action toward achieving the SDGs. The Advocates Group is co-chaired by Prime Minister Solberg and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana. In their Artic Call to Action on Food Security and Climate Change it calls upon all citizens, in particular agricultural decision-makers, to give priority to the sustainable use and conservation of agricultural biodiversity for future generations, and to ensure equitable sharing of benefits arising from these resources.
In President Akufo-Addo’s address to the experts at the Seed Summit, he stated that “the Seed Vault represents the ultimate insurance policy for the world’s food supply.” He also commended the Government of Norway and its partners for their leadership on this enterprise.
Seed Vault attracts new depositors and now stores more than 1 million seed samples
The seeds that were deposited in February 2020 came from 36 international and regional genebanks, as well as national institutions and civil society organisations. The new deposits brought the total number of seed samples stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to more than 1 million, and the total number of depositors to 87.
Among them were first-time depositors Cherokee Nation (USA), the University of Haifa (Israel), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (Morocco), the Julius Kühn Institute (Germany), the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute, the Baekdudaegan National Arboretum (South Korea), Suceava Genebank Mihai Cristea (Romania), and Kew Gardens (UK).
Norway expresses appreciation to international community for Seed Vault support
Prime Minister Solberg expressed to those in attendance that “this deposit event is especially timely, given that 2020 is the deadline for meeting target 2.5 of SDG 2: Zero Hunger, which calls on the international community to safeguard the genetic diversity of crops and livestock.”
Olaug Bollestad, Minister of the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food which is responsible for the Seed Vault, added that “Norway greatly values the trust shown to us by all the genebanks that have chosen to use the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as part of their strategy for securing important seed collections. We are strongly committed to managing the Seed Vault in accordance with the highest agreed international standards.”