First off, sorry about the late response. I’ve been doing many revisions to several aspects of FF2F’s back-end (which will be made obvious in the next few posts) and something must have been affected which rendered the email notification I’d normally get moot (although I can’t see what to be honest). I’ve only fortuitously come across your comment by accident due to my late coding of the RSS feed for this post, so in regards to what you said –
No, unless The Land Institute has seeds stored away in Svalbard then I certainly haven’t talked to anybody who has seeds stashed away there.
In regards to the Vault’s relevance, and working off of the hypothetical situation(s) I offered, I suppose that such a thing would come about due to an overall slow collapse of industrial civilisation and by extension of industrial agriculture in general (which is the scenario I’m increasingly gravitating towards). To parallel it with our monetary situation, countries and people will be continually triaged out of industrial agriculture as the attempt is made to extend and pretend. As this could go on for decades, and with climate change probably getting a whole lot worse, I imagine that with access to seeds quite possibly becoming a contentious issue that Svalbard could be used as a device for Syngenta et. al. to continue business industrial agriculture as usual via the access to and usage of seeds they may not be able to access via conventional methods, and which they’ll need for the new climatic conditions.
In other words, will Svalbard have relevance in the long term? Not so much. But in the near-term, and as things (relatively slowly) wind down? I imagine so.
In regards to your last two paragraphs, yes, the methods of seed saving you outlined are good enough in comparison, but Svalbard’s pitch isn’t that of a cheaper or better method to save seeds (so as to allow for genebanks and such to be retired), but rather as the backup to the backups. That is, not as a way to save seeds so much as a way to save the seeds of genebanks and such (or so gets said). And in regards to seeds in storage needing to be rotated, yes, Svalbard does allow for depositors to send in new samples of their seed in order to supply rejuvinated backups.
Sorry if my response is essentially a rehash of what I’ve already written.