Arctic Garden of Eden

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**digital image of the seed bank deep within an Arctic mountain in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard

In preparation to doomsday, calamities and such, the Norwegian government together with Crop Diversity Trust and the European Commission has built the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

It is a bank which aims to store and care for numerous types of seeds from each and every country. Operated by the Norwegian government, this bank doesn’t only caters to worldwide catastrophic proportions. Countries which have deposited seeds in here are free to use their own seeds anytime, free of charge.

The Philippines’ International Rice Research Institute and Mexico’s International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre will be the first client of the bank.

Just 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the North Pole, is designed to house as many as 4.5 million crop seeds from all over the world. It is also designed to withstand earthquake, landslide, global warming and even nuclear strikes.

During the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, their own seed banks has been wiped-out. The same goes to the Philippines which was hit by a typhoon last 2006.

“This is a frozen Garden of Eden,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said at the opening ceremony Tuesday, as guests carried the first seed deposits into the icy vault.

“It is a precaution for the future,” said 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai of Kenya, a board member of Crop Diversity Trust, which collects the seeds for the Svalbard vault.

The trust was founded by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and Biodiversity International.

***now that’s what I call unity and the vision to future.

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