Tuvalu to recreate entire country in metaverse as rising sea levels threaten island nation

"Only considered global effort can ensure that Tuvalu does not move permanently online and disappear forever from the physical plane."

Gawain Pek | November 17, 2022, 06:43 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/mothershipsg

To preserve its heritage, Tuvalu's Minister for Justice, Communication and Foreign Affairs Simon Kofe has announced that the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu will become the world's "first digital nation".

It will recreate itself "in the cloud", "piece by piece", Kofe said of the Pacific island nation.

Preserving island and maintaining sovereignty

In a short video, Kofe said that "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'll move them to the cloud", Kofe continued.

Kofe noted during his speech that the islands of Tuvalu, like the one he is seen standing on, will not survive "rapid temperature increases, rising sea levels and droughts".

The metaverse copy of Tuvalu will thus replicate and preserve the island and its memories for generations to come.

It will also provide Tuvalu's government with an online presence that can replace its physical presence "to allow [it] to continue to function as a state".

To impress upon the audience his point, the video eventually pans out to reveal that the speech is being given in a virtual simulation of Teafualiku Islet.

The islet is Tuvalu's smallest island and the "first part" of Tuvalu that will be lost to the effects of climate change.

"Considered global effort" needed

Tuvalu's metaverse move comes as "the world has not acted" since COP26, Kofe highlighted.

"So, we in the Pacific had to act", he said.

The initiative has been a year in the making, as part of the "Future Now" project.

The project was launched by Kofe's ministry to prepare Tuvalu for the worst-case climate change scenario -- the submerging of Tuvalu due to rising sea levels.

"Only considered global effort can ensure that Tuvalu does not move permanently online and disappear forever from the physical plane", Kofe said in his video address.

"Without a global conscience and a global commitment to our shared well-being, we may soon find the rest of the world joining us online as their lands disappear", Kofe implored.

Tuvalu is made up of a total of nine atolls and reef islands, with a total land area of 26km2. and a population of around 12,000.

Its highest point above sea level is about 2m.

Last year, Kofe gained the world's attention by giving his COP26 statement while standing knee-deep in water.

Top image via Simon Kofe/Youtube