Metaverse in Rescue of Tuvalu’s Disappearing Heritage Due to Climate Change

As a result of an existential threat of rising sea levels due to climate change, the Pacific nation of Tuvalu has decided to create a virtual form of itself in the Metaverse. At the Climate change conference in Egypt, COP27, the minister of communication, justice, and foreign affairs, Simon Kofe announced the above agenda of the island to save its culture and heritage. 

The plan is a result of a “worst-case scenario”, and includes creating a virtual twin of the island of Tuvalu in the metaverse, to preserve its rich culture and beautiful islands.

Simon Kofe in a video conference said that,

As our land disappears we have no choice but to become the world’s first digital nation.” He also mentioned that “Islands like Tuvalu, won’t survive rapid temperature increases, rising sea levels, and droughts so we will recreate them virtually”. 

Also Read: Dubai Metaverse Strategy 2030

What is the Idea Behind Tuvalu’s Presence in Metaverse?

The motto of the island is to make Tuvalu “a fully functional sovereign state” as the people will be forced to live in some other place. Here are two stories behind Tuvalu’s digital presence. Firstly, the small island nation in the Pacific is facing an existential crisis and is doing everything in its power to preserve its beautiful nature and technology. The other motto of the Pacific island is to preserve the country as a terrestrial nation and avoid the worst effects of climate change. 

Metaverse brings in a future where virtual and augmented reality becomes a part of everyday life. The most common vision about metaverse is that it is about immersive 3D worlds. A virtual character in the metaverse can move from one world to another, just like a man moves from one room to another. Here is the vision of building Tuvalu in the digital universe. 

  • Territory: to preserve and interact with the natural beauty of Tuvalu.
  • Culture: A way for the people of Tuvalu to interact in their own language, and share similar customs, and norms.
  • Sovereignty: in the case of the terrestrial land of Tuvalu, the government might be able to have the sovereignty of the virtual land. 

The vision of Tuvalu is not only imaginative, but literal, and possible. The state-of-the-art technology behind Metaverse allows it to create an immersive, beautiful, and rich culture and nature of the Pacific island. It is possible to create a “digital twin” of Tuvalu. 

Countries Taking a Step Towards the Digital Frontier

While Tuvalu might be the first sovereign country to create a digital presence, there are several countries that are taking their first step to explore the world of the metaverse. 

  • The Caribbean island nation of Barbados 2021 was the first to open up an embassy in Decentraland, metaverse. 
  • An Australian indigenous tribe announced its plans of opening an embassy in metaverse earlier this year.
  • There are several countries that are already offering services in the metaverse. A federal tax office branch of Norway was recently opened in the metaverse for its next-gen users. 
  • A new headquarters for the Ministry of Economy was set up by the United Arab Emirates.
  • Several other tech-savvy cities such as South Korea, Santa Monica, Seoul, and California have created several digital counterparts.

Metaverse is a digital platform providing opportunities for countries to try new initiatives and enter into the virtual world to preserve their rich culture and heritage. 

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