Tuvalu has made a bold proposition, asserting that it will continue to exist as a country, even if the island disappears due to rising sea levels.

This month, it enshrined a new definition of statehood in its constitution.

The definition states the State of Tuvalu shall remain in perpetuity, notwithstanding the impacts of climate change or anything else that results in the loss of its physical territory.

Former Foreign Minister and Government MP Simon Kofe said Tuvalu was the first nation in the world to define itself in this way.

“It’s part of our efforts to try and future proof Tuvalu, because for us a state is more than just what’s in the physical,” he said.

“It’s our culture, our history. It’s a spirit of the people of Tuvalu, and that’s something that that could never be, you know, removed. It’s a part of who we are. And we want that to continue,” said Kofe.