A failsafe solution for world food supply?

New Scientist of January 12, report on an initiative of the Norwegian government to create a large concrete room, hewn out of a mountain on a freezing-cold island just 1000 kilometres from the North Pole, to hold around 2 million seeds, representing all known varieties of the world’s crops.

It is being built to safeguard the world’s food supply against nuclear war, climate change, terrorism, rising sea levels, earthquakes and the ensuing collapse of electricity supplies. “If the worst came to the worst, this would allow the world to reconstruct agriculture on this planet,” says Cary Fowler, director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an independent international organisation promoting the project.

This initiative shows a practical implementation of principles to enhance resilience: redundancy and diversity.

2 thoughts on “A failsafe solution for world food supply?”

  1. Not only redundancy and diversity, but in the actions they are taking they are promoting “memory”. In fact, the very example used in Resilience Alliance writings to illustrate “memory” in ecosystems as a component of resilience is “seed banks”. We mean, in saying this, soil seed banks, that enable re-generation following severe disturbances (fires, hurricanes). This is a nice extension of human engineered memory to ensure regeneration following a cataclysmic global scale disturbance

  2. I think it’s a great way to document the available foods in the world today but if it’s a serious safegurad against nuclear war I think it’s over the top and would it really work?

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