The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Norwegian: Svalbard globale frøhvelv) is a secure seedbank located on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near the town of Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago, about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) from the North Pole. The facility preserves a wide variety of plant seeds in an underground cavern. The seeds are duplicate samples, or "spare" copies, of seeds held in gene banks worldwide. The seed vault will provide insurance against the loss of seeds in genebanks, as well as a refuge for seeds in the case of large-scale regional or global crises. The seed vault is managed under terms spelled out in a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian government, the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen).
Construction of the seed vault, which cost approximately NOK 45 million (US$9 million), was funded entirely by the Government of Norway. Storage of seeds in the seed vault is free of charge. Operational costs will be paid by Norway and the Global Crop Diversity Trust. Primary funding for the Trust comes from organisations, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and from various governments worldwide. (link)