Russian seed bank “one step closer to destruction”

Posted on August 14th, 2010 by

A Russian court refused to interfere with a Russian housing agency’s plans to develop new housing units on the site of a seed bank containing more than five thousand varieties of fruits and ornamental plants.

Cary Fowler is quoted in an article in The Guardian as saying “It is a bitter irony that the single most deliberately destructive act against crop diversity could be about to happen in the country that invented the modern seed bank. Russia taught the world about the importance of crop collections for the future of agriculture. A decision to destroy Pavlovsk would forever tarnish a cause that generations of Russian plant scientists have lived and, quite literally, died, to protect.”



  1. Christine Lambert says:

    Russia signed the World Heritage Convention; why not sugest to their government that they file a rushed petition for the seed bank to be added on to the list of protected Unesco World Heritage sites; they would therefore honor their tradition and the work and sacrifice their scientists have made, particularly during the siege of Leningrad – if not, may be the procedure could be started by Unesco?
    what can be done to prevent this outrageous act?

  2. lisa heldke says:

    Individuals who wish to respond to this proposed destruction may find several petitions online, including one at Fowler’s Global Crop Diversity Trust. Look for it at

    Fowler has called upon concerned individuals to Tweet President Medvedev. This blog has some information about how to do so:

  3. […] a surprise inspection at the seed bank, the auction has reportedly been “postponed for an uncertain period.” Read more here […]