rapprochement...and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault

How to re-enter this world of my weblog? So much has happened, so much to talk about, and how do I account for my absence? Well, maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe we just go in and out—of our projects, our journals, our intentions and our resolves. What matters is just that we return, eventually, to today, when I'm excited about a story I read, and I want to share it.

It's about the Sval­bard Glob­al Seed Vault. Today was the official opening of the vault, which is was dug 393 feet inside a sandstone mountain, under the permafrost, on a remote Norwegian island called Spitspergen in the Arctic, about 1,120 km from the North Pole.

Today, during the official opening, the vault was unlocked, and the first box of seeds was placed inside by the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, and Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate and environmentalist, Wangari Maathai. The box contained varieties of rice seeds from 104 countries.

Nicknamed "The Doomsday Vault," the Svalbard Seed Vault "is designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections from around the globe. Many of these collections from developing countries are in developing countries. If seeds are lost, e.g. as a result of natural disasters, war or simply a lack of resources, the seed collections may be reestablished using seeds from Svalbard."

You can see the video of the opening ceremonies, as well as a really great video about the World Cowpea Collection, at the Svalbard Seed Vault website.