What is the Metaverse and could it revolutionise nature conservation
I’ve been thinking about the Metaverse in terms of nature and nature conservation for a while now, questioning, asking myself, reading… but never enough of time really to make my mind up.
Listening to Esther inspired my thinking and then desire to share it with you all.
So, let’s talk about the Metaverse, what is it? And can it really be used in nature’s favour?
The Metaverse is the idea of a virtual world that is complementary to the real world it uses technologies, such as blockchain technology, virtual reality, and even AI, that creates decentralised platforms. Its goal is to allow users to create and interact with virtual environments, with a very high level interactivity. The Metaverse also offers an amazing and unique opportunity to engage people in any cause, including nature conservation. A great opportunity to engage is created by virtual experiences that allows everyone to explore and learn about the natural world.
Traditional approaches to nature conservation often involve limiting access to natural areas in order to protect them. While this stops damage to the natural environment, it also creates detachment between communities and the natural world. However, the Metaverse could offer a way to bridge this gap, by creating immersive experiences that allow everyone to explore and connect with nature in new ways. It creates a way for people to connect with nature without the disturbances that would normally come with it.
The use of virtual reality to create immersive experiences that allow people to explore natural areas in ways that are not possible in real life. Such as diving in deep sea environments, exploring remote rainforests, or even prehistoric landscapes. This could also be used to explain concepts such as the water cycle or even something as small as atomic structure. By creating these amazing and unique experiences, the Metaverse can help to raise awareness about all the wonders of the natural world, and the challenges that it faces.
In the Metaverse, blockchain can be used to create incentives for people to participate in conservation efforts. For example, users of any program could earn extra virtual tokens for taking specific actions that support nature and this could then be used to purchase virtual goods, used in an online store where this could give a discount, other benefits or even real life experiences. This creates a more tangible incentive for people to get involved in conservation efforts in small steps that could account to a big goal both as part of the virtual experience and in the real world.
The Metaverse also creates a huge opportunity as it offers the ability to reach a much broader audience than traditional approaches to conservation. The Metaverse has the potential to engage people who may not have access to natural areas in the real world, or who may not be interested in traditional approaches to conservation. By creating these immersive experiences that are both educational and entertaining, the Metaverse can help to foster a greater appreciation for the natural world and inspire people to take action to protect it. Not only that, but immersive experiences don’t have to relate to nature to help protect it. Small steps and goals could be added to any experience to make it help the environment and introduce people to nature conservation.
The Metaverse allows anyone to create and contribute to virtual environments, meaning that conservation efforts can be driven by a wide range of people. This could help to create a more community based approach to conservation, where individuals and communities can contribute in important decisions regarding their local natural areas and how they are managed and protected. By decentralising the approach to conservation, the Metaverse creates a more inclusive platform for conservation efforts, which could bring innovative solutions to the table and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.
While the Metaverse offers significant benefits for nature conservation, there are also challenges and limitations that must be considered and mitigated. One of the challenges is the need to ensure that virtual experiences are as accurate and realistic as possible. While the Metaverse offers a high level of interactivity it still has to keep the virtual environments as close to real world natural environments as possible.
An important challenge and issue faced is to find a way to make the Metaverse accessable and usable to everyone. While the Metaverse has the potential to reach a much broader audience than traditional approaches, this can only occur if everyone has access to it. It is also imperative that the well-being of everyone on the Metaverse is considered and steps put in to place to avoid overuse and obsession. Especially in the case of children, they should be given their own, personal responsibility to realise things themselves, but if needed, parents should show them how to find the balance.
It is also highly important that we, as a community, don’t get so submerged in the virtual world as to forget the real world and the changes that have to be made.
The Metaverse offers significant benefits for nature conservation, including the ability to engage more people, create incentives for conservation efforts, and create a more decentralised and inclusive approach to conservation. While there are some challenges that must be faced, its potential to drive successful conservation efforts is huge. By embracing this new technology, we can create new ways to engage people in the protection of the natural world and help to ensure a sustainable future.
The fact that the Metaverse lacks a clear goal can come to its disadvantage, however. It enables a diverse range of ideas and applications to emerge, fostering innovation and collaboration from both professionals and communities. However, without a shared vision and real purpose, the Metaverse struggles to gain widespread acceptance and support, leading to competing standards. Balancing the flexibility of the Metaverse while creating a coherent goal might be an important next step in its development and its growth into something communities can use to thrive. Assigning a very big goal to the Metaverse, such as conserving nature and protecting it from further damage, would not only be very useful for the planet, but it would also make it more attractive to potential users, like me, to whom these types of values are of huge importance.
Like my mum says “Everything is possible if there is will” and I can say that from my experience there is definitely will.
So let’s listen, watch, and contribute, we are meant to look into the future, so let’s make it better.
Please don’t forget guys, our world, our responsibility! Act, explore, ask…
Until next time,
Nika Strok Underwood