Skip to content

Svalbard Global Seed Vault Turns 15

In 2023, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault marked its 15th anniversary with notable deposits, and also ‘opened’ its doors to the world by launching a new virtual tour. The Seed Vault was first opened in 2008.

2023 Seed Vault Deposits

In February, 20 genebank added 19,585 seed samples, including first-time depositors from Albania, Benin, Croatia and North Macedonia. 

In June, the Seed Vault welcomed 40,507 more seed samples from nine genebanks, including collections from Latvia, Morocco, Taiwan, USA, the Netherlands, Israel, Poland, Zambia and Italy. The deposits ranged from cereals and legumes to vegetables, aromatics and medicinal plants.

In October, at the last opening of the year, Ghana became the 100th depositor to deposit seeds, an important step towards ensuring the long-term protection of the country’s food crops. Ghana joined 15 other institutions, including one other first-time depositor—the Bonn University Botanic Gardens (Germany). A total of 11,673 samples were deposited.

Key partnerships played a pivotal role in facilitating these deposits. The BOLD Project, supported by the Government of Norway, provided funding for seed regeneration and safety duplication, expanding the reach of the Seed Vault beyond national genebanks to include communities, universities and NGOs in low- and middle-income countries.

The Seed Vault now houses over 1.2 million seed samples, solidifying its position as the world’s largest crop diversity collection in a single location.

Scroll to top