Storage facility accessed for Drought Resistant Seeds for Scientists
A facility that was originally built to safeguard the world’s food supply has been accessed to deliver much needed seeds to Scientists as current stocks there cannot be accessed. Not many people are aware of this facility and although this was built as some kind of Doomsday protection for the World’s supply of food from events such as Nuclear War, the ongoing crisis dictates that this is the only way for Scientists in the Middle east to access them.
Researchers in the Middle East have now asked to withdraw a range of drought-resistant crop seeds, including wheat, barley, and grasses, from the vault. They would usually get these seeds from a facility in Aleppo, Syria, but even though the seeds are still there and safe in cold storage, the scientists are unable to access them as a result of damage to the surrounding buildings caused by the war.
The doomsday vault was built into the side of a frozen mountain on the Svalbard archipelago in 2008, and it’s been specially designed to keep crucial crop seeds safe and ready to replant following pretty much any disaster you can think of.
Even without power, the vault would be able to remain locked and frozen for 200 years. But now the Syrian civil war will trigger the first withdrawal of seeds from the facility.
The request was made by the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), which was originally based in Aleppo. In 2012 the Centre moved to Beirut in Lebanon to escape the conflict, but they don’t have access to their seed supplies, which is why they’ve asked to withdraw 130 of the 325 boxes that they dropped off to the vault before the war.
And don’t worry, the ICARDA scientists will put the seeds to good use. The aim of the Centre is to help alleviate poverty and world hunger by growing, researching, and distributing crops that will grow better in dry areas.
Now more than ever those are important goals, and with around one-third of the global population living in arid regions, their work could help to feed a whole lot of people. We think it’s amazing that the doomsday vault is able to help them continue their research despite war in the region. Science prevails.
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