Doomsday Vault Protects Seeds of Life

A doomsday vault built to withstand an earthquake or nuclear strike is ready for operation deep in the permafrost of an Arctic mountain, where it will protect millions of seeds from man-made and natural disasters
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Biodiversity 'doomsday vault' comes to life in Arctic

Aimed at providing mankind with a Noah's Ark of food in the event of a global catastrophe, an Arctic "doomsday vault" filled with samples of the world's most important seeds will be inaugurated here Tuesday.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Nobel Peace Prize winning environmentalist Wangari Matai will be among the personalities present at the inauguration of the vault, which has been carved into the permafrost of a remote Arctic mountain, just some 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from the North Pole.

Graphic on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, designed to preserve crop diversity in case of large-scale catastrophe, in advance of its inauguration on February 26.(AFP)

"The facility is built to hold twice as many varieties of agricultural crops as we think exist," explained Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust and project mastermind.

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