CBS News on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

There are a few things about Svalbard that many people know about Svalbard without realizing that they know it. One is that if you have ever seen a documentary on the Arctic or polar bears, the odds are very high that you were looking at Svalbard. BBC's landmark Frozen Planet series for example. As a base for polar science research, the archipelago is also well equipped to show that research to the world.

Photo courtesy of Jason Roberts Productions

The other is that we are the home of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The so-called Doomsday Vault. Many people have heard of the Vault without knowing where it or Svalbard are located. It is a facility for storing back up crop seeds gathered from hundreds of seed banks around the world. Or in simpler terms, it is a backup vault for the world's food supply in the event of disasters, both natural and man-made. Dug deep into the permafrost of Svalbard's mountains, it keeps seeds in a stable cold temperature for natural long term preservation. It also happens to be in a direct line of sight barely a kilometre from the Svalbarði bottling plant.

With natural disasters increasing regularly around the world due to global warming, the need to protect the world's biodiversity has never been greater. Even man-made disasters such as the civil war in Syria have roots in global warming linked drought. Syria serves as an important example of the Vault's purpose. In 2015, the war had made the country's seed vault in Aleppo inaccessible. Backups of their seeds from around the Fertile Crescent had been stored in Svalbard however, and the first ever withdrawal from the Vault occurred to send seeds to facilities in Morocco and Lebanon where vital research could continue. Its mission came full circle when a few months ago, new seeds from the same species were able to be deposited in the Vault again.

Much can be said of the Vault, and journalists from around the world regularly make trips up here to see inside and educate their readers and viewers. Recently, America's CBS news made the pilgrimage and has produced an excellent eight minute video report of the Vault's purpose, origins, and facilities. We highly recommend taking a few minutes to watch, learn, and enjoy.

Svalbarði is a strong believer in the vital role of the Vault, and as such we donate a portion of sales towards the preservation of crops in it. We believe in first doing no harm to the environment including via our Carbon Neutral certification; second, helping to educate our followers about the vital role Svalbard plays in arctic research; and third, helping to mitigate the effects of global warming via support for the Vault.

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