Tuvalu plans to turn into the primary nation to create an entire reproduction of itself within the metaverse as rising sea ranges threaten to utterly submerge the tiny island nation.
Simon Kofe, Tuvalu’s international affairs minister, introduced the venture in a digital handle to world leaders on the COP27 local weather summit in Egypt.
“The tragedy of this consequence can’t be overstated. However as a result of the world has not acted, we should,” he mentioned.
“Our land, our ocean, our tradition are probably the most valuable property of our individuals and to maintain them protected from hurt, it doesn’t matter what occurs within the bodily world, we’ll transfer them to the cloud.”
Kofe additionally issued a warning to different nations: “Tuvalu may very well be the primary nation on the earth to exist solely in our on-line world. But when world warming continues unchecked, it will not be the final.”
Located about midway between Hawaii and Australia, Tuvalu consists of three reef islands and 6 coral atolls. It is house to round 12,000 individuals, and has a complete land space of simply 10 sq. miles.
For Tuvalu, local weather change poses an existential risk. The UN has labeled the low-lying island nation as “extraordinarily weak” to rising world temperatures, and specialists predict that it may very well be absolutely submerged by 2100, per Chatham Home.
Step one of Tuvalu’s digitization venture is a recreation of Teafualiku Islet — the nation’s smallest island, and the primary a part of the nation that is anticipated to be misplaced to rising sea ranges.
In his handle to COP27, which was delivered in opposition to the backdrop of a digital reproduction of Teafualiku, Kofe mentioned: “Islets like this one will not survive speedy temperature will increase, rising sea ranges, and drought, so we’ll recreate them nearly. Piece by piece we’ll protect our nation, present solace to our individuals, and remind our kids and our grandchildren what our house as soon as was.”
At #COP26: Minister Hon. Simon Kofe urged us to take daring motion to handle local weather mobility. Immediately at #COP27 hear Min. @Simon_Kofe tuning in from an islet in to ship an impactful message to leaders for motion
Watch the video message https://t.co/98mlZe2x36 pic.twitter.com/kTvtgwgioq
— Tuvalu Ministry of International Affairs (@Tuvalu_MJCFA) November 15, 2022
Kofe additionally implored different nations to take severe motion on local weather change to assist Tuvalu keep away from the “worst-case state of affairs”. He informed delegates: “Solely concerted world effort can be sure that Tuvalu doesn’t transfer completely on-line and disappear eternally from the bodily airplane.”
This is not the primary time Kofe has attracted world consideration on behalf of Tuvalu. On the COP26 local weather summit final yr, he grabbed headlines by addressing the convention whereas standing knee-deep within the sea to underline Tuvalu’s vulnerability to local weather change.