The entire Pacific nation of Tuvalu is planning to recreate a digital version of the country in the metaverse.
With the threatening nature of climate change, Tuvalu is on the front line as rising sea levels risks submerging the tiny nation. Tuvalu’s minister for justice, communication, and foreign affairs, Simon Kofe addressed the leaders at COP27 announcing the plan as a “worse case scenario”. The alternative solutions for his country’s survival included the plan of Tuvalu becoming the first digitalised nation in the Metaverse. This creation would be an online realm that uses augmented and virtual reality to help users discover the ‘twin’ version of the country.
Kofe addressed in a digital video that surrounded him in a digital replica of an islet threatened by rising sea levels saying, “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.”
Kofe has continuously been addressing the dangers of the climate crisis to COP leaders and in COP26 he presented in the conference standing knee-deep in the sea to demonstrate the severity of the crisis for Tuvalu. He expressed that Tuvalu had to act because on a global scale, countries are not doing enough to prevent climate change.
What does a metaverse nation look like?
To understand what the concept is like – a complex ‘metaverse’ may be. A metaverse is a shift in technology in how we interact with it. Imagine a virtual world where people live, work, shop and interact with others from the physical world. Similar to a video game – but in real life on a virtual platform. It represents a future that incorporates augmented and virtual reality becoming a part of everyday living.
Picture this – an avatar moving from one virtual world to another being able to do multiple things. Kofe explains the three aspects of Tuvalu’s nation can be recreated:
Territory – recreating the natural beauty of the nation, which can be interacted with in many ways.
Culture – the ability for Tuvaluan people to communicate with each other to preserve and understand their shared language, norms and cultures – anywhere in the world.
Sovereignty – the loss of land which is owned by the government of Tuvalu will remain on virtual land.