It is no longer a story of the future, a sci-fi fiction we fear but cannot visualize. Two of the nine islands of Tuvalu are on the verge of disappearing.
The microstate Tuvalu, an island country in the Pacific, is feeling some of the worst effects of climate change. They are not losing a species or dealing with an increase in carbon footprint: the nation of Tuvalu is sinking under the rising sea levels, and it seems to be a matter of time before it is lost entirely. Researchers estimate that more than 50% of the capital, Funafuti, could be flooded by 2050.
While its land may be engulfed, its people’s determination to keep their home alive is stronger than ever. The nation’s efforts are symbolic — Tuvalu is planning to create a twin version of its entirety on the metaverse. This digital response was provoked by the existential threat of rising sea levels.
Simon Kofe, Tuvalu’s minister for justice, communication and foreign affairs, conveyed this message through a digital address to leaders at COP27, saying “Our land, our ocean, our culture are the most precious assets of our people and to keep them safe from harm,” he stated, “no matter what happens in the physical world, we will move them to the cloud.” (...)
Kofe stated that the plan would essentially create a digital (and identical) twin version of Tuvalu in the metaverse. This model would act to replicate the beautiful islands of this nation and preserve its deep history and unique culture. (...)