The Svalbard Seed Vault: a measure against global warming

If you’ve already heard of the Svalbard islands, chances are, the first anecdote you’ve heard is that it’s the only place in the world where “no-one is born or dies”. Due to the particular conditions of the weather and land, there are no obstetrics clinics to be found and there is currently a burial prohibition in place – since the low temperatures would prevent bodies from decomposing. Yet even such a remote and unspoilt place is not untouched by the effects of global warming.

 The consequences of global warming

Climate change and global warming are not phenomena that manifest overnight, but they gradually creep in, leading to devastating and inexorable changes. Is it possible to combat global warming and its consequences? As the scientists struggle to find an answer, we know that if the situation does not improve, all vegetation within the ecosystem would be irreparably compromised forever.

The underground vault of the Svalbard seed bank

It’s officially known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and is, in essence, a vault that contains a huge variety of seeds coming from every corner of the globe. Although it doesn’t contain gold or precious stones, the seed bank is one of our most precious assets, particularly if, for a moment, we stop to consider the future. Regardless of global warming and any other calamity, we know that thanks to this incredibly secure bunker the world’s main crops are preserved – we are talking about more than one million seeds from 74 countries.

The importance of environmental ethics today

Svalbard’s philosophy is based primarily on environmental ethics. Recognising the objective value of the ecosystem, regardless of the possible advantage that man could derive from it, is undisputed. We ourselves can do a lot to make our world greener, starting from our everyday behaviours: avoiding certain foods, and choosing less polluting vehicles and resistant clothing that lasts over time would already contribute a great deal to protecting the environment.

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