Major deposit for the Svalbard Global Seed Vault / Storinnrykk til Svalbard globale frøhvelv

Publisert 24.02.2020

Representatives from 30 gene banks across the globe will meet at Svalbard this week / Representanter for 30 genbanker fra hele verden samles denne uken på Svalbard.

Dette blir det største antallet institusjoner som deponerer frø samtidig siden frøhvelvet ble åpnet i 2008. Det er også det første arrangementet som finner sted etter at Statsbygg ferdigstilte en omfattende oppgradering av frøhvelvet i 2019.

Deponeringen er en del av en internasjonal frøkonferanse i Longyearbyen og finner sted tirsdag ettermiddag. Statsminister Erna Solberg er vertskap for arrangementert. Les mer på regjeringens sider. 

Major deposit for the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Representatives from 30 gene banks from across the globe will meet at Svalbard on February 25th to deposit seed samples to the Global Seed Vault. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will host the event.

This will be the largest number of institutions making simultaneous deposits since the seed vault opened in 2008. The deposit will take place as a part of The 2020 Svalbard Seed Summit. 

Improvements to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault 2018-2019

From January 2018 to early summer 2019, Statsbygg worked on improving the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The Global Seed Vault was originally located at Svalbard because of the permafrost that exists in arctic climates. This serves as a natural protectant, as the seeds need to be kept at a certain temperature.

Due to changes in the local climate, the permafrost around the access tunnel to the vault did not reestablish. Melting water then caused a leakage in the access tunnel. In 2016 there was a major water intrusion in the access tunnel. The seeds were not harmed. 

The seeds in the vault remained completely safe during the implementation of the new measures. The improvements have been carried out to provide additional security to the seed vault, based on a precautionary approach.

The most important implemented measures are:

The access tunnel leading to the seed vault has been replaced by a powerful and water resistant concrete construction that is 100 meter long. This makes the installation resistant against a warmer and wetter climate.

All technical installations have been moved to a separate service building adjacent to the vault itself in order to avoid unwanted heating. The service building also includes basic office facilities for administering the arrival and registration of seeds.

In order to secure the seeds in the vault, only seed depositors or technical supervisors are allowed inside the vault.

Drainage ditches have been constructed on the mountainside to prevent melt water from accumulating around the access tunnel.

Statsbygg has also carried out a research- and development project monitoring the permafrost on Svalbard.

The measures allow Statsbygg to provide optimal maintenance and surveillance of the seed vault.

The upgrades were paid for by the Norwegian Government.

Statsbygg will answer all questions and enquiries regarding these measures.

Hege Njaa Aschim
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