Graminor part of the International Advisory Panel for the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Graminor is proud to have Kristin Børresen appointed as a member of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault International Advisory Panel. The Panel will have its first meeting in Svalbard in February 2018 in conjunction with the 10 year anniversary of the Seed Vault.

Purpose of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

The purpose of the Seed Vault is to offer a secure stock of duplicates of seeds that are currently found in national, regional and international gene banks all over the world. The seeds in the Vault are conserved to insure against loss in the event of local or global catastrophe and functions like a safety deposit box; samples can be accessed by their depositing seed banks. If researchers or plant breeders wish to access the seeds, they must request samples directly from the original depositing banks. 

Plant genetic resources for future food production

Plant genetic resources are the raw material that scientists and plant breeders – like Graminor – use to develop new or improved crop varieties that can support agriculture and future food production. Graminor is responsible for developing new plant varieties for field crops and horticulture plants suitable for Norwegian and Nordic growing conditions. Several of the varieties developed by Graminor are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. New and improved varieties are needed for growing more and better food, for making crops resistant to new pests and plant diseases, and for adapting to changing climates and growing conditions. When genetic diversity is reduced, it is irrecoverable. We not only lose part of our cultural heritage and history, but agriculture’s opportunities to meet the new challenges linked to climate change, population growth and so forth are reduced

Seed Vault holdings

The seeds that are secured in the Seed Vault include crop varieties, farmers’ land races, breeding material and wild plants and include more than plant species such as beans, cereals, potatoes, and rice. The depositors are research centers and gene banks. The educational film “The Backup Copy” was created in connection with the 5th anniversary of Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The film gives a thorough review of the seed vault function, why conservation of plant varieties is important for the future and why Svalbard is the optimal place for storing backups of world plant heritage.

International Advisory Panel tasks

The main task of the Advisory Panel is to provide high quality and scientifically based advice for management and activities at the Seed Vault. The parties that fund and operate the Svalbard Global Seed Vault are; the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food, The Global Crop Diversity Trust and The Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen). They are also the ones who appoint members of the International Advisory Panel. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault International Advisory Panel consists of persons representing depositing gene banks as well as other stakeholders and includes seven members. Kristin is the Norwegian representative and was appointed to the Advisory Panel by the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Ten year anniversary

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was opened 26 February 2008 and will celebrate its 10 year anniversary on February the 26th 2018 with seminars, invited guests, new seed deposits among other events. The first meeting of the International Advisory Panel will coincide with the celebration.

For more information about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault visit: