Permafrost seed bank

Arnoud van den Heuvel
September 10th 2007

seed bank

The Norwegian government will hollow out a cave on the ice-bound island of Spitsbergen to hold a seed bank. This seed vault is an answer to a call from the international community to provide the best possible assurance of safety for the world's crop diversity. There are currently about 1,400 seed banks around the world, but a large number of these are located in countries that are either politically unstable or that will possibly face threats from the natural environment. The idea is that the gene bank will serve as a back-up. Permafrost and thick rock will ensure that even without electricity, the samples will remain frozen.

seed bank map The number of seeds and types of plants in the bank would be determined by the countries wishing to use it. Bill Gates is supposed to have invested ±15 million Euro / ±20 million dollar into this project and the Norwegian government ±5 million Euro / ±7 million Dollar. I should say that in this light, the Post-Armageddon nature is determined by the politics of today.

seed bank image

Drawings: Global Crop Diversity Trust

regjeringen.no | croptrust.org | pooljaar.nl (video-on-location, in Dutch!) | news.bbc.co.uk
Related posts: Crop circles | Plantvertising | Park-card | Tree bombs | Deadline to save the world

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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