The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway acts as an insurer to other seed collections. The arrangement with depositing organizations is akin to a safety deposit scheme. The free global service allows organizations to store their seeds once they are already placed in both their own collections and another seed bank, as a final back up.
In May 2016, Magnum’s Jonas Bendiksen witnessed the deposit of more than 8,000 varieties of crops – from sheep food to chilli peppers – from Germany, Thailand, New Zealand, and the World Vegetable Center into the Seed Vault, which only opens 2-3 times a year.
The entrance to the seed vault. Svalbard, Norway, 2016.