The construction will begin in March 2007. The seed bank is scheduled to open in late winter 2008.

Photo Statsbygg/Global Crop Diversity Trust The seed vault will be built 120 meters inside the permafrost, 130 meters above sea level. The samples will be stored at –18 degrees Celsius. "By building the vault deep inside the mountain, the surrounding permafrost would continue to provide natural refrigeration if the mechanical system failed", said Gary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

This Arctic seed vault will act as safeguard bank for the global network of seed banks financially supported by Global Crop Diversity Trust.

Spitsbergen was considered an ideal location due to its lack of tectonic activity and its longtime permafrost, which will help to preserve seeds.

Source : BBC News