Tuvalu could be underwater within 100 years. How could virtual reality help?

It’s a question that’s both tragic and hopeful: if a country stops existing physically, can it continue to exist digitally?

Thanks to climate change, this curious question is becoming an essential one – and some countries have already started trying to answer it.

Tuvalu, the tiny Pacific nation of 12,000 people that’s halfway between Australia and Hawaii, is one of them.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described the nation as being “on the extreme frontlines of the global climate emergency”.

Like many islands in the Pacific, the low lying Tuvalu is at particular risk due to rising sea levels.(Getty: Mario Tama)

And in 100 years, it’s likely that Tuvalu will be underwater, according to Carlos Lee Moresi, Tuvalu’s former Secretary of Finance.

So, as well as trying to address the impacts of climate change, Tuvalu is exploring an innovative way to maintain its sovereignty, culture and economy in the face of physical destruction.

Virtual words, blockchain technology and some serious forward thinking all play a part in the plan.

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