Svalbard ‘doomsday’ vault receives additional ICARDA seed samples
In an effort to further safeguard critically important biodiversity to strengthen the climate resilience of smallholder farmers, ICARDA contributed a further 6,336 seed samples to Norway’s Svalbard seed Vault in February 2022. A total of 100,931 accessions in the form of seeds from ICARDA are now stored in the vault - almost 10 percent of all the vault's stored accessions.
Accessions are stored in a safe and controlled environment (-18°C / -0.4°F) to ensure their long-term safety and future viability. ICARDA collects, conserves, and protects unique genetic dryland materials that rank among the most important worldwide. ICARDA's genebank, located in Lebanon and Morocco, is part of CGIAR’s overall genebank network and contains rich collections from the region once known as the birthplace of farming and the ‘Fertile Cresent - rich in landraces and wild relative species with naturally robust genes that evolved over thousands of years of survival and adaptation in harsh conditions – this makes accessions from the Central and West Asia, and North Africa region a valuable resource for building climate adaptation in crops.
ICARDA is one of several genebanks managed by CGIAR. This global network is widely perceived as one of the most important international projects serving humanity, helping to protect future generations from the threat of famine, conflict, and the negative impacts of climate change. CGIAR and its Genebank Platform ensure the genebanks and germplasm health units conform to international standards published by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).