A small Pacific island nation threatened by rising sea levels plans to create a digital copy of itself in the metaverse

Tuvalu

Tuvalu may be completely submerged by the end of the century.Mario Tama/Getty Images

  • Tuvalu wants to replicate itself in the metaverse before rising sea levels wipe it off the map.

  • Climate change poses an existential threat to Tuvalu, which is expected to be submerged by 2100.

Tuvalu plans to become the first country to create a complete replica of itself in the metaverse as rising sea levels threaten to completely engulf the tiny island nation.

Simon Kofe, Tuvalu’s foreign minister, announced the project in a virtual address to world leaders at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

“The tragedy of this outcome cannot be overemphasized. But since the world has not acted, we must do it,” he said.

“Our land, our ocean, our culture are our people’s most precious assets and to protect them from harm no matter what happens in the physical world, we will move them to the cloud.”

Kofe also warned other countries: “Tuvalu could be the first country in the world to exist exclusively in cyberspace. But if global warming continues unchecked, it won’t be the last.”

Tuvalu is located about halfway between Hawaii and Australia and consists of three reef islands and six coral atolls. It is home to about 12,000 people and has a total area of ​​only 10 square miles.

For Tuvalu, climate change poses an existential threat. The UN has classified the low-lying island nation as “extremely vulnerable” to rising global temperatures, and experts predict it could be completely submerged by 2100, according to Chatham House.

The first step of Tuvalu’s digitization project is a recreation of Teafualiku Islet – the country’s smallest island and the first part of the country expected to be lost to rising sea levels.

Speaking to COP27 against the backdrop of a digital replica of Teafualiku, Kofe said: “Eggs like these cannot survive rapid rises in temperature, rising sea levels and drought, so we will be recreating them virtually. Little by little, we will rebuild our country preserve, comfort our people, and remind our children and grandchildren what our home once was.”

Kofe also implored other countries to take serious action on climate change to help Tuvalu avoid the “worst case scenario”. He told the delegates: “Only concerted global efforts can ensure that Tuvalu does not go online permanently and disappear from the physical plane forever.”

This is not the first time that Kofe has attracted global attention on behalf of Tuvalu. At last year’s COP26 climate summit, he made headlines by addressing the conference while standing knee-deep in the sea to underline Tuvalu’s vulnerability to climate change.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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