Arctic Seed Vault

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Cary Fowler is the executive director of the Arctic Seed Vault, also known as the Doomsday Seed Vault, an internationally-organized effort to protect one of the planet’s greatest resources – the regionally diverse crops that are planted worldwide.  The vault is being dug into a mountainside near the village of Longyearbyen, Svalbard – a remote group of Norwegian islands that are reachable only by plane and boat.  The vault’s contents will be protected by a natural, thick layer of rock and permafrost, which will keep the seeds frozen even if electricity is lost.

The idea for the seed vault dates back to the 1980s and became a reality through the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources.  Cary Fowler talks about crop diversity, the disasters that threaten our resources and how the seed vault will be managed.

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