The problem of course with big GMO, biotech and seed trading companies is that they tend to monopolise seeds like DRM iTunes songs: sold at a high price and owed royalties for. What next? Should we soon pay for sun? And what if seeds become over-engineered, through forced genetic or bio-technological modification?

More and more thinking humans are saying no to this ‘evolution‘, even if they are often ridiculed as Luddites or anti-innovationists.

Their conviction? Some basics should remain free for humans, such as the air that we breathe, the sun, the rain, our body, and also the seeds.

In case of a global catastrophe caused by human kind, there is a place on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen that we can flock to (before founding a colony on Mars), for some duplicate samples, or ‘spare’ copies of seeds: the Global Seed Vault, a secure seed bank near Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago.

You will need a boat though – other safe houses are: Pro Specie Rara in Switzerland and Graines de Vie in France.

— Words  # A.D.


Dans le cas d’une catastrophe climatique causée par l’espèce humaine, il y a un endroit sur l’ île norvégienne de Spitsbergen vers lequel nous pourrions affluer (avant de fonder une colonie sur Mars) .

Pour y retrouver des échantillons de semences en double, des «copies de rechange» de graines.

C’est la Global Seed Vault, une banque sécurisée de semences près de Longyearbyen dans l’archipel arctique de Svalbard.


Photo: Junichi Ito

Photos: Junichi Ito