Is this the first of many digital nations? Climate inaction forces Tuvalu into the Metaverse
The Pacific island nation Tuvalu could be forced to move “entirely online” because of rising sea levels.
- 23 November 2022
- Liz Gorny
The Monkeys and Collider are working with Tuvalu to create the world’s first digital nation as rising sea levels threaten to submerge Tuvalu underwater. Beginning with the recreation of one of Tuvalu’s islands, the project aims to preserve the nation’s land, culture and history in the Metaverse. Simon Kofe, minister of justice, communication and foreign affairs of Tuvalu, announced the digital preservation project during Cop27, where it was revealed that Kofe was speaking from one of the first digital Tuvalu islets.
Kofe states: “Since Cop26, the world has not acted. So we in the Pacific have had to act. We have seen temperature rise projections remain well above 1.5 degrees Celcius, foretelling the imminent disappearance of islets like this one.”
“As our land disappears, we have no choice but to become the world’s first digital nation. 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.” The Monkeys press release quotes Kofe saying: “The tragedy of this outcome cannot be overstated."
The project will entail cataloguing and saving as much of Tuvaluan life as possible, including historical documents, records of cultural practices and family albums. “This is also a matter of sovereignty”; Kofe explains the new digital nation will allow Tuvalu to continue to function as a state upon the event of its disappearance.
The project launches with a dedicated website where visitors can show support for the country’s future by sending an email demanding climate action from their nation’s leaders.
GalleryThe Monkeys / Collider: Speech film and Tuvalu.tv website (Copyright © Tuvalu.tv, 2022)
The Monkeys / Collider: speech film and Tuvalu.tv website (Copyright © Tuvalu.tv, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.