TreeHugger April updated us on construction of an international seed bank (shown here in front view) in her post called Chilling Down Svalbard's Seed Saver. This followed Tim's post on the early planning stages called Norway Seed Bank: A Hedge Against Food Loss. The shelves are up, and the first load of seeds, from Africa, are enroute for long term storage in Norway.
Twenty-one boxes filled with 7,000 unique seed samples from more than 36 African nations were shipped to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a facility being built on a remote island in the Arctic Circle as a repository of last resort for humanity’s agricultural heritage...
The shipment, which was sent by the Ibadan, Nigeria-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), consists of thousands of duplicates of unique varieties of domesticated and wild cowpea, maize, soybean, and Bambara groundnut. The seeds from the IITA genebank in Ibadan, Nigeria, were packed in 21 boxes weighing a total of 330 kg. The processing by IITA staff took several months, and the boxes were packaged over a three-day period, with 10 staff checking the accession list, reporting errors, and adjusting the inventory, as needed.
Here's a construction-phase, back view of the seed vault, looking from above entrance and toward the sea.
See also: Svalbard's Hot (Winter) Nights.
Via::Eureka Alerts, "African seed collection first to arrive in Norway on route to Arctic seed vault" Image credit::Global Crop Diversity Trust, Arctic Seed Vault Image Gallery