Tuvalu said on Tuesday it plans to build a digital version of itself, replicating islands and landmarks and 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 – an online realm that uses augmented and virtual reality (VR) to help users interact
Kofe grabbed global 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 will be the first country to replicate itself in the metaverse but follows both the city of Seoul and the island nations of Barbados which last year said they would enter the metaverse to provide administrative and consular services, respectively.
The idea is to continue to function as a state and beyond that to preserve our culture, our knowledge, and our history in a digital space.
Tuvalu, a group of nine islands and 12,000 people halfway between Australia and Hawaii, has long been a cause celebre for the risks of climate change and rising sea levels.