Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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International collaboration

NordGen collaborates with genebanks, research organizations and pre-breeding, and breeding centers at both the Nordic and global levels. We participate in extensive international collaboration within the framework of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Bioversity International. We also have the responsibility for the day-to-day operation and management of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and organize deposits in the Vault in collaboration with the depositing genebanks and the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

NordGen participes in several international projects. Here you can read about some of them:

Nordic research on climate change (Farm Animals)
Experts from the five Nordic countries are establishing a Nordic research network called AnGR-NordicNET. The research shall provide a knowledge base for decision makers and the further strategy for research within the field of effect of climate change on farm animal genetic resources.
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Contact: Peer Berg

The Baltic countries (Plants)
NordGen leads a project contributing to the sustainable conservation and use of plant genetic resources in the Baltic  Sea region. A workshop was held in the end of 2010 at Tallinn, Estonia to strengthen the network of genebanks and other institutions in the region engaged in in-situ and ex-situ conservation of plant genetic resources.  Another workshop is planned that will have more focus on the users of genetic diversity, such as plant breeders. The overall goal is to support sustainable development by enhancing the utilization of plant genetic resources.
Contact at NordGen: Morten Rasmussen .

European collaboration (Plants)
NordGen participates actively in som of the working groups in the European Programme for Plant Genetic Resources (ECPGR). ECPGR is an European gene bank collaboration. One of the working groups aims at developing a virtual gene bank, AEGIS , a tool for coordination, rationalization and to guarantee the quality of the European gene bank material.
Contact: Anna Palmé

Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Inspired by NordGen's safety store in an old coal-mine at Svalbard, Bioversity International  and  Food and Agriculture Organization  (FAO) contacted the Norwegian authorities with the idea of establishing a global seed vault. This was the first step towards the opening of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault  (SGSV) in 2008. The Vault serves as the ultimate safety net for one of the world's most important natural resources - seeds of the world's most important crops.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is owned by the Norwegian Government. The management of the Vault is divided according to a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food , the Global Crop Diversity Trust  and NordGen. The Global Diversity Trust co-funds the operations of the Vault and funds the shipment of seeds from developing countries to Svalbard.

NordGen is responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the Vault and organizes deposits in the Seed Vault in collaboration with depositing genebanks and the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

North West Russia (Plants)
NordGen continues cooperation with the Russian national genebank, The N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry (VIR). The VIR preserves a lot of plant genetic resources that are very relevant for the Nordic region, including traditional landraces of all crop groups that were collected in the Nordic region prior to the existence of a Nordic genebank. NordGen hosts a workshop at Alnarp in April 2011 that brings curators and research scientists of the VIR and NordGen together for developing a strategy for enhancing the utilization of plant genetic resources by joining forces in characterization and evaluation of material.
Contact: Svein Solberg .

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Birch in spring.Photo: Simon Jeppson/NordGen

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 about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault .