Deep inside a mountain on a remote island in the Svalbard archipelago, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, lies the Global Seed Vault. It is a ‘fail-safe’ seed storage facility, built to stand the test of time — and the challenge of natural or man-made disasters. The Seed Vault represents the world’s largest collection of crop diversity.
Yet, the threat of a recent permafrost melt due to rising temperatures, or the mundane malfunction of a poorly functioning freezer shows as that the ‘safest place on earth’, is vulnerable. And the loss of crop variety is as irreversible as the extinction of any form of life.