A “Doomsday” vault was found tucked in the Arctic and was recently opened to serve countries in heightened war.
While many would think the vault is filled with food to survive what may be an Apocalypse or a Zombie takeover of sorts, it is actually far from a room filled with Vegemite and Wheaties. Well, it’s a bit related to the power breakfast cereal.
The Svalbard Global Seed Storage, also known as the doomsday vault, is the world’s largest secure seed storage which was opened by the Norwegian Government in February 2008. The disaster-proof vault holds thousands of essential seeds which are kept in case a catastrophe devastates the world’s agricultural crops.
CNN reports that the first withdrawal from the doomsday vault has already been made due to the war in Syria which has stopped scientists from continuing their research. The International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) runs an important gene bank in Aleppo, Syria that is in the verge of collapsing.
The gene bank, according to CNN, contains “135,000 varieties of wheat, fava bean, lentil and chickpea crops, as well as the world’s most valuable barley collection.” But due to the conflict in Syria, scientists were unable to continue their inventory of seeds.
Aleppo’s gene bank is reported to have contributed a variety of seeds to the doomsday vault. With the ongoing war in Syria, scientists have asked to withdraw a large portion of their seed deposits, as mentioned on Common Dreams.
The caretakers of the vault told The Guardian that they have shipped the seed deposits to Lebanon and Morocco.
According to the site, the Crop Trust was able to send 38,073 seed samples put in 128 boxes sent to the cities. The seeds will then be planted at the research facilities and will be available to farmers.
The Director of NordGen agency, which is responsible for managing the Svalbard vault, said that such occurrence is proof of the vault’s importance to the global system.
Director Arni Bragason told the site, “It is wonderful to see the Vault is already proving its worth and that we have been able to help our friends in the Middle East to continue their vital work.”