What is “Noah’s Ark”, real life insurance for the planet?

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — This complex nestled in the heart of the Arctic received a large delivery of seeds this week. Their goal: to save plants in the event of a natural disaster, war or even to protect them from climate change.

It is a futuristic bunker located in the heart of the Svalbard archipelago, in the Arctic. The Noah’s Ark is the largest center in the world with more than a million seed samples collected from around the world.

Several dozen plants have joined the ranks of this huge reserve this week, a real life insurance for biodiversity and people on Earth.

The complex is owned by 35 regional and international institutions, details Metro. It is buried in a mountain 1,300 kilometers from the North Pole.

The base aims to preserve biodiversity before global warming threatens plant species. The samples are kept in a vault. “As the rate of climate change and the loss of biodiversity increases, a new urgency emerges in the efforts to save food crops threatened with extinction,” details the site of Living Tomorrow Stefan Schmitz, director of the reserve.

This Tuesday, February 25, 60,000 new samples were thus sent to the Norwegian vault.

Rice and wheat planned

The bunker was erected in 2008. Nicknamed the “Last Judgment Vault”, the complex aims to be a safeguard against natural disasters, wars and now global warming. Its usefulness was thus highlighted by the Syrian conflict: the researchers recovered there the duplicates of seeds disappeared in the destruction of the gene bank of the city of Aleppo.

Ultimately, the Svalbard reserve aims to preserve the plants likely to feed the planet and to guarantee to feed it for the 9.8 billion people that the Earth should count in 2050.

There are currently some 1,700 genetic banks around the world. Wheat and rice crops are thus preserved in these buildings as well as less common wild varieties such as the European apple tree, specifies Métro.

Ultimately, the Noah’s Ark must accommodate two or three million samples to “make the future of human nutrition even more secure”.


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