The archipelago of Tuvalu duplicates its territory and culture in the metaverse

The symbol of global warming, Tuvalu, one of the smallest countries on the planet, is trying to tell the world about its fate. On the occasion of COP 27, Tuvalu’s Minister of Foreign Affairs thus announced the creation of a digital copy of his country, thereby attempting a virtual survival suffocation. Located in the heart of the South Pacific Ocean, this Oceania island nation is in danger of disappearing due to rising sea levels. Marie Sorbier went to find Géraldine Giraudeau to find out more.

The critical situation of the Polynesian archipelago

If some states of the planet have already disappeared, especially for political reasons, today no territory has really disappeared. However, the Tuvalu archipelago will be swallowed up within a few years. Indeed, Pacific Island states have been on the front lines of the effects of climate change and have been for many years. They are subject to various effects, including an increase in the frequency of extreme climate events, coral acidification, rising water levels and even soil salinization.

These effects already raise legal questions, especially because they push back the basis that makes it possible to calculate or determine maritime borders and boundaries.Geraldine Giraudeau

This situation has already caused numerous displacements of people from different communities and their displacement within the Anatolian states, consisting entirely of low coral formations.

A terrestrial extinction is expected

Whether it’s Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Tokelau – a separate territory of New Zealand – or even Tuvalu, the possibility of this extinction raises new legal questions.

In international law, a state is considered to consist of three elements: a population, a territory and a government.Geraldine Giraudeau

However, as in some islands, these territories will become uninhabitable or even, in the case of Tuvalu, will be completely swallowed by the waters, which means that one of the constituent elements of the state is disappearing. Therefore, the survival of this state is questioned, both in itself and within international organizations. There is also the question of the status of the citizens of this state who will have to be relocated, as well as the one concerning the rights of the state in the maritime areas, the areas of which are considerable.

These “land confetti” are actually major maritime nations, as under the law of the sea, they exercise authority over a territorial sea and an exclusive economic zone, which extends up to 200,000 seafarers from the baselines..” Geraldine Giraudeau

A virtual state, hostage to a cultural sanctity

All these questions are already on the agenda of some institutions that have started thinking about the roads. For example, Tuvalu can recreate itself through the metaverse. Apart from the “announcement effect”, to alert the international community, this track may have the merit of maintaining support for the continuity of the state.

A deterritorialized state or a visual state would make it possible to grant access to certain state services to displaced Tuvaluan nationals.Geraldine Giraudeau

Tuvalu’s project is to download the entirety of this country, both spatially and culturally. This would ensure that its inhabitants have access to the cultural wealth of their island, as well as for future generations who may never have access to the territory itself.

We imagine these citizens and or their descendants, wearing 3D glasses, being able to access what was Tuvalu. So, it is the transition into the virtual world of something that would then no longer exist in the real world, which is what has a dramatic character, it must be recognized..” Geraldine Giraudeau

  • have :”

    Water Nations“, documentary by Géraldine Giraudeau, visible on YouTube.

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