The Pacific island nation of Tuvalu has long been in the spotlight about the dangers of climate change.
An archipelago of nine islands with 12,000 inhabitants, roughly halfway between Australia and Hawaii, is seriously threatened by rising sea levels.
Up to 40% of the capital is submerged at high tide, and the most stringent estimates to date predict that the entire Pacific nation will be completely submerged by the end of the century.
Tuvalu’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Simon Kofe, has announced plans to become the first digitized country in the Metaverse, an online realm that uses augmented and virtual reality to help users interact.
At last year’s COP26 climate summit, Tuvalu knelt by the sea to show it was on the front lines of climate change, urging world leaders to “take bold and alternative action to secure tomorrow.” urged.
The minister explained that his message at last year’s summit went unheard by the world, so countries must take matters into their own hands, including creating a virtual version of the country in the Metaverse. did.
“I can’t survive on an island like this.”
“The world has not acted since COP26, so those of us in the Pacific have had to act. We have had to take our own precautions with the Future Now project. As our land fades away, we have no choice but to become the world’s first digital nation,” he said last week at COP27 from the real Te Ahualik digital twin.
Te Ahualik is likely to be one of the first places in Tuvalu to be submerged by rising sea levels, he said.
The video ends with a simulation of an islet in the Metaverse, suggesting what a virtual copy of the country might look like.
“Our land, seas and culture are our people’s most valuable assets. To protect them from harm no matter what happens in the physical world, we are migrating them to the cloud. he said.
“Such islands would not be able to withstand rapid temperature rise, sea level rise and drought. , will be a reminder to our children and grandchildren, “Our home once upon a time.”
Kofe warned that it may be inevitable that other countries will join the Metaverse.
“We have to start [taking action] today. Otherwise, Tuvalu will only exist here for the rest of its life,” he said.
Tuvalu will be the first country to replicate itself in the Metaverse. The city of Seoul and the island nation of Barbados are following suit. Last year, they said they entered the Metaverse, providing administrative and consular services respectively.
For more on this story, watch the video in the media player above.