Norway’s ‘doomsday’ seed vault named one of world’s 50 most influential projects

Norway’s 'doomsday' seed vault named one of world’s 50 most influential projects
File photo: AFP
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which seeks to protect the world's crops from natural disasters, has been named one of the most important projects in the world over the last 50 years.

The ‘Noah’s Ark’ seed bank is located inside a mountain on Svalbard, a remote Arctic island in a Norwegian archipelago.

It takes its place amongst cultural and social milestones such as the Apollo 11 moon landings and the Harry Potter books as one of the 50 most influential projects of the last half century, NRK reports.

The list, compiled by Project Management Institute, selects innovations in technology and health, architecture, finance and entertainment as well as literature.

The Intel processor, the euro, the human genome project, Live Aid, Netflix, Bitcoin, the iPod, Wikipedia and the Atari 2600 are all amongst the diverse top 50.

The World Wide Web was named as the number 1 project on the list, perhaps unsurprisingly.

“It’s very pleasing to see such a special project as the seed vault receive international recognition,” director Harald Nikolaisen of Statsbygg, the government construction and property advisor behind the vault, told NRK.

Launched in 2008 with the aim of providing a “fail-safe seed storage facility, built to stand the test of time and the challenge of natural or man-made disasters,” the Svalbard facility has 1,059,646 unique crop varieties deposited in its so-called “doomsday vault”.

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