By Mark Kinver Science and nature reporter, BBC News
The final design for a "doomsday" vault that will house seeds from all known varieties of food crops has been unveiled by the Norwegian government.
The Svalbard International Seed Vault will be built into a mountainside on a remote island near the North Pole.
The vault aims to safeguard the world's agriculture from future catastrophes, such as nuclear war, asteroid strikes and climate change.
Construction begins in March, and the seed bank is scheduled to open in 2008.
The Norwegian government is paying the $5m (£2.5m) construction costs of the vault, which will have enough space to house three million seed samples.
The collection and maintenance of the collection is being organised by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which has responsibility of ensuring the "conservation of crop diversity in perpetuity".
"We want a safety net because we do not want to take too many chances with crop biodiversity," said Cary Fowler, the Trust's executive director.
"Can you imagine an effective, efficient, sustainable response to climate change, water shortages, food security issues without what is going to go in the vault - it is the raw material of agriculture."
The seed vault will be built 120m (364ft) inside a mountain on Spitsbergen, ...full text