In 2006, under the auspices of the United Nations, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault was created for planting material of all agricultural plants in the world. The project was funded by Norway and cost it $ 9 million. Each country received its own compartment in this plant bank. The task of such a seed storage is to prevent their destruction as a result of possible global catastrophes, such as an asteroid fall, nuclear war or global warming. There is enough space inside for 4.5 million seeds.
The storage is located at a depth of 120 meters at an altitude of 130 meters above sea level in the village of Longyearbyen. The bank is equipped with explosion-proof doors and airlock chambers. The safety of materials is ensured by refrigeration units capable of operating on local coal, as well as permafrost. Even if the equipment fails, it should take at least a few weeks before the temperature rises by 3 ° C. The seeds are placed in sealed envelopes, which, in turn, are packed in four-layer plastic bags that are placed in containers on metal shelves. Low temperatures (-18 ° C) and limited oxygen supply should provide low metabolic activity and slow down seed aging.
Svalbard was chosen for the seed bank due to the permafrost and low tectonic activity in the archipelago area.
P.S. Svalbard is a vast polar archipelago located in the Arctic Ocean. The northernmost part of the Kingdom of Norway. The archipelago and coastal waters are a demilitarized zone. The islands have two official languages - Norwegian and Russian; you do not need a visa to visit the archipelago.