Global Crop Diversity Trust

A Foundation for Food Security


“The significant public interest in the seed vault project indicates that collectively we are changing the way we think about environmental conservation. We now understand that along with international movements to save endangered species and the rainforests of the world, it is just as important for us to conserve the diversity of the world’s crops for future generations”
Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate  


Media Interest News teams from around the world followed the official opening of the Vault in Svalbard. At least 22 TV, radio and newspaper teams travelled to Svalbard for the opening ceremony, including BBC and CNN and other global news networks. As an indication of how the Vault caught the world’s imagination, on the opening day itself more than 400 news stories were published or aired in North America alone.

The Vault has succeeded in retaining massive media attention in the years following the opening, helping to put crop diversity and its conservation on the international agenda. Despite the attention given to climate change in the world’s media, and in particular how it can be slowed, surprisingly little attention has been paid to investigating how the world can adapt to climate change. The most challenging aspect of adapting to climate change is how the world will grow enough food in new climates, and it has been important that at this time the Vault has focussed attention on the importance of crop diversity for food security, and in particular on its importance in adapting crops to future conditions.

Inspiration for the 21st century Nicknames such as the ‘Doomsday Vault’, the ‘Noah’s Ark for seeds’ and ‘the Fort Knox of food’ have added to the fame of the Vault.

Time Magazine celebrated the Seed Vault as one of the best inventions of 2008, and the Norwegian postal service have released a stamp of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in 2011. The Vault has attracted visits from leading international dignitaries: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, as well as former US President Jimmy Carter.