N.I.Vavilov Institute of Plant Genetic Resources

N.I.Vavilov Institute of Plant Genetic Resources (VIR)



After the court decision (dated as of 11th of August 2010) in favor of Russian Housing Development Foundation Vavilov Institute is waiting for a formal resolution. The resolution is awaited in approximately 5-7 days, only then it will be possible to appeal to the Supreme Arbitration Court of Russia (the resolution will be available soon at our сайте )

“The appeal to the Russian Supreme Arbitration Court gains campaigners another month to save Pavlovsk” – «Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog»

Both domestic and foreign scientists didn`t expect such a turn, especially after an active information campaign targeted to support Pavlovsk Experiment Station (see all materials here ).

“It`s a bad day for biodiversity" said Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust Cary Fowler in interview to «The Scientist» . The handover of the lots harbored by Pavlovsk Experiment Station "would destroy almost a century of work and irreplaceable biological heritage" - he continued in «The World Today»

“Such plant banks provide breeders with unique gene stock to breed new varieties from, which can withstand disease, drought, changes to growing conditions and other perils. When the plants die, a unique genetic heritage representing thousands of years of evolution is wiped out” – reports “USA Today”

“The collection is effectively a field-based gene bank and cannot be readily moved.Scientists say that maintaining samples of many types of plants is important for food security because their genes can be used to breed new variants. That is particularly important in view of global climate change, as the world may need food plants that are better able to tolerate a warmer, drier climate” – “Creating a sustainable Future”

«Many of them have properties that may be used for growing these plants in other corners of the world – “RIA Novosti”

“The court decision means the destruction of the world's largest collection of thousands of varieties of apples, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, currants and other crops—90 percent of which are not found anywhere else in the world” – “The Atlantic” extends a warning to its readers.

“Genetically diverse and incredibly rare varieties of crops would fall victim to the ubiquitous McMansion, a tragedy of epic proportions” – says«»

This decision was a blow not only to the food security of Russia, but finally let down our credibility in the eyes of the world community – “РТ Корр Россия”

“Russian scientists famously chose to starve to death rather than eat the unique collection of seeds and plants they were protecting for humanity during the 900-day siege of Leningrad in the Second World War” – «Gardian»said .

“Now the world's first global seed bank faces destruction once more, to make way for a private housing estate” – “The Age”reports .

There are no objective reasons to deprive these patches. The station was founded by academician Nikolai Vavilov, he chose deliberately this area – these lands have a special microclimate. And for housing construction it is not important – “Невское Время ”

Multiple inspections have found no violations. Meanwhile, an agreement of perpetual usage of these patches, signed with the Institute of Plant Industry, has been canceled. – “”says .

But still there is a last hope for the Russian Government to intervene in case to save the modern field genebank

“A frantic appeal has been made directly to the Russian government to save Europe's largest fruit and berry seed bank from real estate developers” – “Science GoGo”said.

To save the world heritage of plant genetic resources from destruction International Seed Advocates launched the campaign to gather votes of people concerned about the future of Pavlovsk experiment station as well as future of next generations. If you would like to express your worries please send a letter to the President of Russia here.

“We do hope the decision of the President Dmitry Medvedev will help to save unique genetic resources for the benefit of the whole world” – Director General of Bioversity International Emile Frison and Member of the Parliament and Ex-President of the International Union for the Conservation of the Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) M.S. Swaminathan