Pacific Island Heads to The Metaverse as Rising Sea Levels Endanger its Very Existence

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Pacific Island Heads to The Metaverse as Rising Sea Levels Endanger its Very Existence

Replicating Itself

This Tuesday Tuvalu announced plans to recreate a digital version of itself, replicating islands and special landmarks while, at the same time, preserving its history and culture as rising sea levels threaten to submerge the tiny Pacific island nation.

Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Simon Kofe told the COP27 climate summit it was time to look at alternative solutions for his country’s survival and this included Tuvalu becoming the first digitized nation in the Metaverse.

“Our land, our ocean, our culture are the most precious assets of our people and to keep them safe from harm, no matter what happens in the physical world, we will move them to the cloud,” said Kofe in the video that sees him standing on a digital replica of an islet threatened by rising sea levels.

In Knee-deep

Kofe got the world’s attention at last year’s COP26 when he addressed the conference standing knee-deep in the sea to illustrate how Tuvalu is on the front line of climate change.

Tuvalu was having to act because countries globally were not doing enough to prevent climate change, he said.

A group of nine islands and 12,000 people halfway between Australia and Hawaii, Tuvalu — which has a reported 40% of the capital district underwater at high tide, with the entire country set to be underwater by the end of the century — will be the first country to replicate itself in the Metaverse but follows both the city of Seoul and the island nation of Barbados which last year said they would enter the Metaverse to provide administrative and consular services, respectively.

Preserving its Heritage

“The idea is to continue to function as a state and beyond that to preserve our culture, our knowledge, our history in a digital space,” Kofe told Reuters ahead of the announcement.

Kofe said he hoped the creation of a digital nation would allow Tuvalu to continue to function as a state even if it becomes completely submerged while adding seven governments have agreed to continual recognition but there were challenges if Tuvalu goes under as it is a new area of international law.

Feature Image: Simon Kofe

News adapted from Reuters release

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