Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















Gates Grant To Help Poor Countries Contribute To Doomsday Seed Vault

The seed vault in Norway will not flood if Greenland's ice sheet melts, which some estimate would increase sea levels by seven meters (23 feet).
by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) Apr 20, 2007
A Gates Foundation grant will help developing countries send the seeds of "critical" food crops to a doomsday seed vault in an Arctic deep freeze, the recipients said Thursday. "The fight against hunger cannot be won without securing fast-disappearing crop biodiversity," the Global Crop Diversity Trust and its partner the UN Foundation said in announcing the grant of 30 million dollars (22 million euros).

Part of the grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to which the Norwegian government added 7.5 million dollars in matching funds, will go towards helping poor countries send seeds to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a statement said.

The so-called "Noah's Ark of food" near the North Pole will store at least 450,000 seed samples at a temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius (minus 0.4 Fahrenheit).

The grant will finance the packaging and shipping of seeds to the fault, Cary Fowler of the Rome-based Global Crop Diversity Trust told AFP.

The funding is "the largest crop biodiversity preservation grant ever made," the communique said.

"Among the crops covered are many 'orphan crops' -- crops particularly important to the poor but largely neglected by modern plant breeding, despite the need for high-yielding, nutritious varieties," the statement said.

The initiative "will secure at-risk collections in poor countries and document their astonishing diversity, making it available to meet the food needs of the poor," trust director Cary Fowler said in the statement.

Genetic diversity "is the raw material that enables plant breeders and farmers to develop higher yielding, more nutritious, and stress-resistant varieties," the communique said, adding that it was essential to adapting to climate change.

"Our effort to help hundreds of millions of small farmers and their families overcome poverty and hunger rests in part on food security," said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Development Program.

"But there can be no food security without first securing the basis of our food production -- the genetic diversity of every crop, in particular those most important to the poor that unfortunately are neglected by modern plant breeding," she said.

Timothy E. Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation, said, for his part: "By providing access to crop genetic information, plant breeders across Africa may be able to adapt their crops to varieties that will grow in different climate conditions."

The seed vault in Norway would not flood if Greenland's ice sheet melts, which some estimate would increase sea levels by seven meters (23 feet).

Source: Agence France-Presse

Email This Article

Related Links
Gates Foundation
The latest farming technology and science news

Winter Flounder On The Fast Track To Recovery
Durham NH (SPX) Apr 17, 2007
Winter flounder - sold in markets as flounder or lemon sole - in the Gulf of Maine went into serious decline in the 1980s, taking with it a major commercial and recreational fishery. Despite stringent fishing regulations, it's estimated that it could take more than a decade for winter flounder to regain its once-robust place in New England coastal waters.







  • Wireless Sensors Limit Earthquake Damage
  • DigitalGlobe And GeoEye Partner With The USGS In Support Of International Charter
  • Tsunami Emergency In Solomons Declared Over
  • Philippine Survivors Left Feeling Forgotten

  • Scientists To Track Impact Of Asian Dust And Pollution On Weather And Climate
  • Security Council Holds Landmark Debate On Climate Change
  • Want To Monitor Climate Change Pick Up A Penguin
  • Trans Atlantic Rift Not That Great On Global Warming

  • Scientists Meet To Review Envisat Results After Five Years Of Operations
  • US Uses Landsat Satellite Data To Fight Hunger And Poverty
  • NOAA And NASA Restore Climate Sensor To Upcoming NPP Satellite
  • High-Resolution Images Herald New Era In Earth Sciences

  • Shanghai To Shut Down 29 Coal Power Plants By 2010
  • Co2 Storage In Coal Can Be Predicted Better
  • UCLA Chemists Design Lowest-Density Crystals Ever For Use In Clean Energy
  • Researchers Find Large Is Smart When It Comes To Cities

  • HIV Treatment Goal Elusive
  • Bird Flu Genome Study Shows New Strains As new Infections Spread
  • Ebola Outbreaks Killing Thousands Of Gorillas And Chimpanzees
  • Total Hepatitis C Cure Possible

  • Swedish Scientific Breakthrough On Planting Blooming Was Faked
  • New Undersea Vent Suggests Snake-Headed Mythology
  • Misclassified For Centuries Medicinal Leeches Found To Be Three Distinct Species
  • Russia To Make Polar Bear Hunting Legal

  • Coal Burning Having A Devastating Impact On Rural Chinese
  • Chinese Economy Reaching Limits
  • Plastic That Degrades In Seawater A Boon For Cruise Industry
  • DHS Rolls Out New Chemical Plant Regulations

  • Scientist Says Cremation Should Meet A Timely Death
  • Egyptian Faithful Crave New Islamic Gadgets
  • Liver Regeneration May Be Simpler Than Previously Thought
  • Rhesus Macaque Genome Helps Illuminate What Makes Us Human

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement