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Syrian Seeds First to Be Withdrawn from Arctic ‘Doomsday Vault’

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Seeds kept in a “doomsday vault” in the Arctic have been withdrawn for the first time and sent to Morocco and Lebanon so that Syrian agricultural researchers can continue their work.

This is the first time seeds have been taken out since the vault was opened eight years ago, the Associated Press reports. Around 38,000 seed samples, many ancient crop varieties unique to the Middle East, were withdrawn so that researchers with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas in war-torn Aleppo can continue their study at new facilities in Lebanon and Morocco.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, also referred to as the “Doomsday Vault” is a seed bank of 860,000 samples of seeds from all over the world that’s meant to work as a backup in the case of manmade or natural disasters. It’s run by the Norwegian government.

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