Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Other Ultimate Archive

Svalbard Global Seed Vault  vault in Norway opens this week. From Andrew Revkin's posting at NYTimes Dot Earth:

"The new repository is intended to be an insurance policy for individual countries and also for humanity more generally, should larger-scale disaster strike (anything from pestilence to an asteroid impact).

The Norwegian government put up more than $7 million for construction. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing money to help developing countries package and ship seed samples, as part of a broader $30-million project to protect the genetic diversity of the world’s main food crops.

The ongoing operation of the seed vault will be paid for through the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which is maintained by contributions from countries, international agencies, and foundations.

A secure supply of thousands of varieties of keystone crops like rice and wheat will be ever more important, experts say, as populations grow, climate changes, and people keep moving species around the global, both intentionally and accidentally."

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