Blog:Russian seed bank threatened

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Sadly, a huge wealth of plant varieties preserved in Russia since 1926 at the cost of a number of lives is now again threatened. This time it's the government threatening to plow under this rather unique resource. The 200 acre Pavlovsk Experimental Station has nearly 1,000 varieties of strawberries alone, many of them found nowhere else in the world. In all there are 5,000 plant varieties that are absolutely unique to this place, and things like trees will not be easily transferred in case the government carries through with their threat to turn it into housing.

There are few places quite like this one in the world, and they deserve protection. The 12 scientists who worked here and chose to die of starvation rather than eat the seeds during the siege of WWII knew the value of what they were protecting, and the government today must see the value of saving what is there. If that means preserving it as is, that would be great. If not, they need to give this facility 5 or 10 years to relocate their treasures, propagate everything necessary, and move along to another site or country. I mean come on, 1,000 varieties of strawberries? That's an incredible treasure and a place where I'm sure many of us would love to (and pay to) do some serious sampling, as well as buy plants from. So it's not even necessarily a financial drain to keep it going, or move it.

If anyone knows of steps we could take around the world to beg a stay of execution for Pavlovsk Experimental Station, speak up now!

--Raffi 16:21, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Source: LA Times

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