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Conservation in the Metaverse

There’s a fantastic award-winning, fully immersive David Attenborough documentary on Oculus TV, where you can explore the origin of life on Earth. Using expert paleontological research and the latest virtual reality (VR) technology, long-extinct animals are brought to life in this 360-degree VR experience. It’s a great way to better understand the origin of life on earth and to see some of the weird and wonderful creatures that existed prior to modern humans taking their first steps, just watch out for giant sea scorpions! And it’s deserving of the prestigious digital awards bestowed upon it, including the World Summit Award and the Museum & Heritage Award for Innovation.

The protection and preservation of wildlife, and the promotion of biodiversity, is of critical importance to both the planet and its denizens, including us. Maintaining a healthy and functional ecosystem helps to mitigate the effects of global warming and maintain resilient food chains on which we all depend. Unfortunately, the plight of our ecosystems is, most of the time, far removed from our day-to-day lives, and it’s only through effort of people like Attenborough that we remain aware of the importance of the natural world.

The seventeen most endangered species on the international, non-governmental World Wildlife Fund’s website include the African forest elephant, the Amur Leopard, the Black Rhino, the Bornean Orangutan, and the Cross River Gorilla. While our priority should always be to find ways to save these species, we owe it to future generations to document the whole of nature while it remains, and to continue to inspire by bringing the natural world into people’s homes.

Here at themetabite we believe that the Metaverse has a valuable role to play in the protection and preservation of wildlife, and the promotion of biodiversity, through educational, learning, sponsorship and fundraising experiences in virtual environments. Step one should be to support those most at risk, by capturing as much information about the world’s most endangered species, and creating fundraising opportunities, perhaps through the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), that represent real-world plots of land in existing or newly created protected areas and wildlife refuges.

In the event that species are destroyed, it will still be of vital importance that virtual copies of extinct flora and fauna are saved, so we have a constant reminder permanent record of what has been lost, and future generations have a continual reminder for of what is at stake if we do not act to protect our planet’s ecosystems. This should be reinforced with a record of what has already been lost, including DNA sequences, diet, habitat, behaviours, mating habits, and reproductive cycles.

Do you think the Metaverse can help to save our most vulnerable species and habitats? Please leave a comment below!

Marek Okon/Unsplash

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