Cary Fowler: “Extinction is a process, not an event”

Senior Advisor, Global Crop Diversity Trust

“If our crops don’t adapt to climate change, neither will we.”

“If our crops,” says Dr. Cary Fowler, the Special Advisor and former Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, “don’t adapt to climate change, neither will we.” Fowler spearheaded the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which preserves seeds from over 850,000 crops from all over the world in an Arctic vault, aiming to protect against crop loss in the event of a global catastrophe.

With more than 30 years experience in conservation and crop diversity, Fowler has served as the Program Director of the National Sharecroppers Fund, headed the International Conference and Program on Plant Genetic Resources at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and taught as a professor and Director of Research in the Department of International Environment and Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. He has written several books and more than 75 articles about plant genetic resources. In 2010, Fowler received a Heinz Award for his vision and efforts in the preservation of the world’s food supply. He is currently Chair of the International Advisory Council for the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Photo: Snow blows off he Svalbard Global Seed Vault before its official inauguration at sunrise on February 26, 2008 in Longyearbyen. The Global Seed Vault has been built in a mountainside cavern on the island of Svalbard, around 1000km from the North Pole, to store the world’s crop seeds in case of a disaster. (Photo by Daniel Sannum Lauten/AFP/Getty Images))

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