Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Seed Withdrawal

Researchers are about to make the first withdrawal from the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the Verge reports.

The vault contains seeds from some 4,000 species or 860,000 total seeds as protection against a global disaster. This first withdrawal is in response to a request from researchers in the Middle East who are seeking to replace seeds that had been stored in war-torn Aleppo, Syria, Reuters says.

"Protecting the world's biodiversity in this manner is precisely the purpose of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault," Brian Lainoff, a spokesperson for trust that runs the vault, tells Reuters.

The International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), which fled Aleppo for Beirut in 2012, requested 130 boxes — it deposited some 325 in the vault — many of which contain samples from drought-resistant plants and crops, the Verge notes. Reuters adds that these plants' traits could help breed ones to withstand the effects of climate change in dry regions of Africa and Australia.

Once the paperwork is done, the seeds will be sent to ICARDA, the Verge adds.

Filed under