The Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Norwegian: Svalbard globale frøhvelv) is a secure seedbank located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near the town of Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago. The facility was established to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds from locations worldwide in an underground cavern. The Seed Vault holds duplicate samples, or "spare" copies, of seeds held in genebanks worldwide. The Seed Vault will provide insurance against the loss of seeds in genebanks, as well as a refuge for seeds in the case of large scale regional or global crises. The island of Spitsbergen is about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) from the North Pole. The Seed Vault is managed under terms spelled out in a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian government, the Global Crop Diversity Trust (Rockefeller) and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (previously named the Nordic Gene Bank, a cooperative effort of the Nordic countries under the Nordic Council of Ministers).
Construction of the Seed Vault, which cost approximately 45 million Norwegian Kroner (9 million USD), was funded entirely by the Government of Norway. Storage of seeds in the Seed Vault is free of charge. Operational costs will be paid by Norway and the Global Crop Diversity Trust. The primary funding of the Trust came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Kingdom, Norway, Australia, Switzerland, and Sweden, though funding has been received from a wide variety of sources including four developing countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, and India.