Friday, February 29, 2008

Protecting the Future For Families

While researching and writing about family history and the past, we should not ignore the future. Although it is not a pleasant thought, global warming and other potential disasters can severely affect generations to come. I was reading CNN online today, and came across an article about a large underground seed vault built inside a frozen mountain in Longyearbyen, Norway. It just took its first delivery of seeds--the start of a collection that will eventually contain every variety of most important food crops in the world.

Hmmm.... I guess you could say that Norway is helping to protect the future of family history in a big way.

"Dubbed the "Doomsday Vault," the seed bank on a remote island near the Arctic Ocean is considered the ultimate safety net for the world's seed collections, protecting them from a wide range of threats including war, natural disasters, lack of funding or simply poor agricultural management."

The idea for an Arctic seed bank began in the 1980s but became a possibility only after the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources came into force in 2004, which provided the necessary international framework.

The Norwegian government has paid about $9.4 million to build the seed vault: now that's putting your money where your mouth is.

It seems that much of the science-fiction I read about in my youth has already become reality.

I'm sure you'll want to read the original article at CNN

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