Coordinates: 6°S 147°E / 6°S 147°E / -6;
Independent State of Papua New GuineaIndependen Stet bilong Papua
Niugini (Tok Pisin)Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu
Gini (Hiri Motu)
Motto: ‘Unity in diversity’Anthem: O
Arise, All You SonsLocation of Papua New
Guinea (green)Capitaland largest cityPort Moresby09°28′44″S
147°08′58″E / 9.47889°S 147.14944°E /
-9.47889; 147.14944Official languagesEnglishHiri
MotuPNG Sign LanguageTok PisinIndigenous languages851
languagesEthnic groups PapuanDemonym(s)Papua New
monarchy• Monarch Elizabeth II• Governor-General Bob
Dadae• Prime Minister James Marape
LegislatureNational ParliamentIndependence from
Australia• Papua and New
Guinea Act 1949 1 July
1949• Declared and recognised 16 September 1975
Area • Total462,840 km2
(178,700 sq mi) (54th)• Water (%)2Population• 2016
census preliminary estimate8,084,999
 (101st)• 2000 census5,190,783• Density15/km2
(38.8/sq mi) (201st)GDP (PPP)2019 estimate• Total$32.382
billion (124th)• Per
capita$3,764GDP (nominal)2019 estimate• Total$21.543
billion (110th)• Per
capita$2,504Gini (2009)41.9mediumHDI (2017) 0.544low · 153rdCurrencyPapua
New Guinean kina (PGK)Time zoneUTC+10, +11 (AEST)Driving
ISO 3166 codePGInternet TLD.pg
Guinea (PNG; UK: /ˈpæp(j)uə ... ˈɡɪni,
ˈpɑː-/, US: /ˈpæpjuə -, pɑːˈpuːə -/; Tok Pisin:
Papua Niugini; Hiri Motu: Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent
State of Papua New
Guinea (Tok Pisin: Independen Stet bilong Papua
Niugini; Hiri Motu: Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini) is a
Oceania that occupies the eastern half of the island of New
Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the
Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, located
along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New
Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua. It is
the world's 3rd largest island country with 462,840 km2
(178,700 sq mi).
At the national level, after being ruled by three external powers
since 1884, Papua New
Guinea established its sovereignty in 1975. This
followed nearly 60 years of Australian administration, which started
during World War I. It became an independent
Commonwealth realm in
Elizabeth II as its queen. It also became a member of the
Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations in its own right.
Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in
the world. It is also one of the most rural, as only 18 per cent of
its people live in urban centres. There are 851 known
languages in the country, of which 11 now have no known living
speakers. Most of the population of more than 8 million
people lives in customary communities, which are as diverse as the
languages. The country is one of the world's least
explored, culturally and geographically. It is known to have numerous
groups of uncontacted peoples, and researchers believe there are many
undiscovered species of plants and animals in the
Guinea is classified as a developing economy by the
International Monetary Fund. Strong growth in Papua New
Guinea's mining and resource sector led to the country becoming the
sixth-fastest-growing economy in the world in 2011. Growth
was expected to slow once major resource projects came on line in
2015. Mining remains a major economic factor, however.
Local and national governments are discussing the potential of
resuming mining operations at the Panguna mine in Bougainville
Province, which has been closed since the civil war in the
1980s–1990s. Nearly 40 per cent of the population lives
a self-sustainable natural lifestyle with no access to global
Most of the people still live in strong traditional social groups
based on farming. Their social lives combine traditional religion with
modern practices, including primary education. These
societies and clans are explicitly acknowledged by the Papua New
Guinea Constitution, which expresses the wish for "traditional
villages and communities to remain as viable units of Papua New
Guinean society" and protects their continuing importance
to local and national community life. The nation is an observer state
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN since 1976, and
has already filed its application for full membership
status. It is a full member of the Pacific Islands Forum
(formerly South Pacific Forum) and the Commonwealth of
2 Government and politics
2.2 Foreign policy
2.4 Human rights
2.5 Administrative divisions
3.3 Environmental issues
3.4 2018 earthquake
4.1 Land tenure
8 Science and technology
10 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Main article: History of Papua New Guinea
Kerepunu women at the marketplace of Kalo, British New Guinea, 1885
Female gable image, Sawos people, Oceanic
art in the Bishop Museum.
British annexation of southeast New
Guinea in 1884
Archaeological evidence indicates that humans first arrived in Papua
Guinea around 42,000 to 45,000 years ago. They were descendants of
migrants out of Africa, in one of the early waves of human
Agriculture was independently developed in the New
around 7000 BC, making it one of the few areas in the world where
people independently domesticated plants. A major
migration of Austronesian-speaking peoples to coastal regions of New
Guinea took place around 500 BC. This has been correlated with the
introduction of pottery, pigs, and certain fishing techniques.
In the 18th century, traders brought the sweet potato to New Guinea,
where it was adopted and became part of the staples. Portuguese
traders had obtained it from South America and introduced it to the
Moluccas. The far higher crop yields from sweet potato
gardens radically transformed traditional agriculture and societies.
Sweet potato largely supplanted the previous staple, taro, and
resulted in a significant increase in population in the highlands.
Although by the late 20th century headhunting and cannibalism had been
practically eradicated, in the past they were practised in many parts
of the country as part of rituals related to warfare and taking in
enemy spirits or powers. In 1901, on Goaribari
Island in the Gulf of Papua, missionary Harry Dauncey found 10,000
skulls in the island's long houses, a demonstration of past
practices. According to Marianna Torgovnick, writing in
1991, "The most fully documented instances of cannibalism as a social
institution come from New Guinea, where head-hunting and ritual
cannibalism survived, in certain isolated areas, into the Fifties,
Sixties, and Seventies, and still leave traces within certain social
Little was known in Europe about the island until the 19th century,
although Portuguese and Spanish explorers, such as Dom Jorge de
Menezes and Yñigo Ortiz de Retez, had encountered it as early as the
16th century. Traders from Southeast Asia had visited New Guinea
beginning 5,000 years ago to collect bird-of-paradise
The country's dual name results from its complex administrative
history before independence. The word papua is derived from an old
local term of uncertain origin. "New Guinea" (Nueva
Guinea) was the name coined by the Spanish explorer Yñigo Ortiz de
Retez. In 1545, he noted the resemblance of the people to those he had
earlier seen along the
Guinea coast of Africa. Guinea, in its turn, is
etymologically derived from the Portuguese word Guiné. The name is
one of several toponyms sharing similar etymologies, ultimately
meaning "land of the blacks" or similar meanings, in reference to the
dark skin of the inhabitants.
Guinea from 1884 to 1919.
Germany and Britain controlled the
eastern half of New Guinea.
In the nineteenth century,
Germany ruled the northern half of the
country for some decades, beginning in 1884, as a colony named German
New Guinea. In 1914 after the outbreak of World War I, Australian
forces landed and captured German New
Guinea in a small military
campaign and occupied it throughout the war. After the war, in which
Germany and the Central Powers were defeated, the League of Nations
Australia to administer this area as a League of Nations
The southern half of the country had been colonised in 1884 by the
United Kingdom as British New Guinea. With the Papua Act 1905, the UK
transferred this territory to the newly formed Commonwealth of
Australia, which took on its administration. Additionally, from 1905,
Guinea was renamed as the Territory of Papua. In contrast
to establishing an Australian mandate in former German New Guinea, the
League of Nations
League of Nations determined that Papua was an External Territory of
the Australian Commonwealth; as a matter of law it remained a British
possession. The difference in legal status meant that until 1949,
Papua and New
Guinea had entirely separate administrations, both
controlled by Australia. These conditions contributed to the
complexity of organising the country's post-independence legal system.
Australian forces attack Japanese positions during the Battle of
Buna–Gona, 7 January 1943.
During World War II, the New
Guinea campaign (1942–1945) was one of
the major military campaigns and conflicts between
Japan and the
Allies. Approximately 216,000 Japanese, Australian, and US servicemen
World War II
World War II and the victory of the Allies,
the two territories were combined into the
Territory of Papua
Territory of Papua and New
Guinea. This was later referred to as "Papua New Guinea".
The natives of Papua appealed to the
United Nations for oversight and
independence. The nation established independence from
Australia on 16
September 1975, becoming a Commonwealth realm, continuing to share
Elizabeth II as its head of state. It maintains close ties with
Australia, which continues to be its largest aid donor. Papua New
Guinea was admitted to membership in the
United Nations on 10 October
Australian patrol officer in 1964
A secessionist revolt in 1975–76 on
Bougainville Island resulted in
an eleventh-hour modification of the draft Constitution of Papua New
Guinea to allow for Bougainville and the other eighteen districts to
have quasi-federal status as provinces. A renewed uprising on
Bougainville started in 1988 and claimed 20,000 lives until it was
resolved in 1997. Bougainville had been the primary mining region of
the country, generating 40% of the national budget. The native peoples
felt they were bearing the adverse environmental effects of the
mining, which poisoned the land, water and air, without gaining a fair
share of the profits.
The government and rebels negotiated a peace agreement that
established the Bougainville Autonomous District and Province. The
autonomous Bougainville elected
Joseph Kabui as president in 2005, who
served until his death in 2008. He was succeeded by his deputy John
Tabinaman as acting president while an election to fill the unexpired
term was organised.
James Tanis won that election in December 2008 and
served until the inauguration of John Momis, the winner of the 2010
elections. As part of the current peace settlement, a referendum on
independence is planned to be held in Bougainville sometime before
mid-2020. Preparations were underway in 2015.
Numerous Chinese have worked and lived in Papua New Guinea,
establishing Chinese-majority communities. Chinese merchants became
established in the islands before European exploration. Anti-Chinese
rioting involving tens of thousands of people broke out in May 2009.
The initial spark was a fight between ethnic Chinese and indigenous
workers at a nickel factory under construction by a Chinese company.
Native resentment against Chinese ownership of numerous small
businesses and their commercial monopoly in the islands led to the
rioting. The Chinese have long been merchants in Papua New
Guinea. In the same year, Papua New Guinea
asked various Southeast Asian nations for their support for Papua New
Guinea's full membership bid in the Association of Southeast Asian
Indonesia supported the bid after Papua New Guinea
supported Indonesia's hold on West Papua. However, the Philippines,
Thailand, Vietnam, and
Cambodia have expressed displeasure over Papua
New Guinea's anti-LGBT laws, stating that equality-friendly
Timor-Leste would most likely be a more feasible ASEAN member state in
From March to April 2018, a chain of earthquakes hit Papua New Guinea,
causing various damage. Various nations from Oceania, Australia, the
Philippines and Timor-Leste immediately sent aid to the
The referendum on Bougainville's independence will be held on 17
Government and politics
Main article: Politics of Papua New Guinea
Guinea is a
Commonwealth realm with
Elizabeth II as Queen of
Papua New Guinea. The constitutional convention, which prepared the
draft constitution, and Australia, the outgoing metropolitan power,
had thought that Papua New
Guinea would not remain a monarchy. The
founders, however, considered that imperial honours had a
cachet. The monarch is represented by the Governor-General
of Papua New Guinea, currently Bob Dadae. Papua New
Guinea (and the
Solomon Islands) are unusual among Commonwealth realms in that
governors-general are elected by the legislature, rather than chosen
by the executive branch.
The Prime Minister heads the cabinet, which consists of 31 MPs from
the ruling coalition, which make up the government. The current prime
minister is James Marape. The unicameral National Parliament has 111
seats, of which 22 are occupied by the governors of the 22 provinces
and the National Capital District (NCD). Candidates for members of
parliament are voted upon when the prime minister asks the
governor-general to call a national election, a maximum of five years
after the previous national election.
In the early years of independence, the instability of the party
system led to frequent votes of no confidence in parliament, with
resulting changes of the government, but with referral to the
electorate, through national elections only occurring every five
years. In recent years, successive governments have passed legislation
preventing such votes sooner than 18 months after a national election
and within 12 months of the next election. In December 2012, the first
two (of three) readings were passed to prevent votes of no confidence
occurring within the first 30 months. This restriction on votes of no
confidence has arguably resulted in greater stability, although
perhaps at a cost of reducing the accountability of the executive
branch of government.
Elections in PNG attract numerous candidates. After independence in
1975, members were elected by the first-past-the-post system, with
winners frequently gaining less than 15% of the vote. Electoral
reforms in 2001 introduced the Limited Preferential Vote system (LPV),
a version of the Alternative Vote. The 2007 general election was the
first to be conducted using LPV.
Prime Minister James Marape.
This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to
reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2012)
In 2011 there was a constitutional crisis between the parliament-elect
Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill (voted into office by a large majority
of MPs), and Sir Michael Somare, who was deemed by the supreme court
(in a December Opinion, 3:2) to retain office. The stand-off between
parliament and the supreme court continued until the July 2012
national elections, with legislation passed effectively removing the
chief justice and subjecting the supreme court members to greater
control by the legislature, as well as a series of other laws passed,
for example limiting the age for a prime minister. The confrontation
reached a peak, with the Deputy Prime Minister entering the supreme
court during a hearing, escorted by some police, ostensibly to arrest
the Chief Justice. There was strong pressure among some MPs to defer
the national elections for a further six months to one year, although
their powers to do that were highly questionable.
The parliament-elect prime minister and other cooler-headed MPs
carried the votes for the writs for the new election to be issued,
slightly late, but for the election itself to occur on time, thereby
avoiding a continuation of the constitutional crisis. The crisis was
tense at times, but largely restricted to the political and legal
fraternity, plus some police factions. The public and public service
(including most police and military) stood back. It was a period when,
with increased telecommunication access and use of social media
(notably Facebook and mobile phones), the public and students played
some part in helping maintain restraint and demanding the leadership
to adhere to constitutional processes. They insisted on having the
elections so that the people could say who should be their legitimate
representatives for the next five years.
Under a 2002 amendment, the leader of the party winning the largest
number of seats in the election is invited by the governor-general to
form the government, if he can muster the necessary majority in
parliament. The process of forming such a coalition in PNG, where
parties do not have much ideology, involves considerable horsetrading
right up until the last moment. Peter O'Neill emerged as Papua New
Guinea's prime minister after the July 2012 election, and formed a
government with Leo Dion, the former Governor of East New Britain
Province, as deputy prime minister.
The Parliament building of Papua New
Guinea in Port Moresby
Main article: Law of Papua New Guinea
The unicameral Parliament enacts legislation in the same manner as in
other commonwealth realms that use the Westminster system of
government. The cabinet collectively agree government policy then the
relevant minister introduces bills to Parliament depending on which
government department is responsible for implementation of a
particular law. Back bench members of parliament can also introduce
bills. Parliament debates bills and if approved the bill is forwarded
to the Governor-General for Royal assent, following which it becomes
All ordinary statutes enacted by Parliament must be consistent with
the Constitution. The courts have jurisdiction to rule on the
constitutionality of statutes, both in disputes before them and on a
reference where there is no dispute but only an abstract question of
law. Unusual among developing countries, the judicial branch of
government in Papua New
Guinea has remained remarkably independent,
and successive executive governments have continued to respect its
The "underlying law" (Papua New Guinea's common law) consists of
principles and rules of common law and equity in English
common law as it stood on 16 September 1975 (the date of
Independence), and thereafter the decisions of PNG's own courts. The
courts are directed by the Constitution and, latterly, the Underlying
Law Act, to take note of the "custom" of traditional communities. They
are to determine which customs are common to the whole country and may
be declared also to be part of the underlying law. In practice, this
has proved extremely difficult and has been largely neglected.
Statutes are largely adapted from overseas jurisdictions, primarily
Australia and England. Advocacy in the courts follows the adversarial
pattern of other common-law countries.
This national court system, used in towns and cities, is supported by
a village court system in the more remote areas. The law underpinning
the village courts is 'customary law'.
APEC 2018 in Papua New Guinea
In foreign policy, Papua New
Guinea is a member of the Commonwealth of
Nations, Pacific Islands Forum, and the Melanesian Spearhead Group
(MSG) of countries. It was accorded Observer status within ASEAN in
1976, followed later by
Special Observer status in 1981. It is also a
member of APEC and an ACP country, associated with the European Union.
Guinea supported Indonesia's control of Western New
Guinea: the focus of the
Papua conflict where numerous
human rights violations have reportedly been committed by the
Indonesian security forces. In September 2017,
Guinea rejected the West Papuan Independence Petition in the
UN General Assembly.
Main article: Papua New
Guinea Defence Force
The Papua New
Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) is the military
organisation responsible for the defence of Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinean children, men and women show their support for
putting an end to violence against women during a White Ribbon Day
Main article: Human rights in Papua New Guinea
See also: Sexual violence in Papua New Guinea
Guinea is often ranked as likely the worst place in the
world for violence against women. A 2013 study
The Lancet found that 27% of men on Bougainville Island, Papua New
Guinea, reported having raped a non-partner, while 14.1% reported
having committed gang rape. According to UNICEF, nearly
half of reported rape victims are under 15 years of age and 13% are
under 7 years of age. A report by
citing former Parliamentarian Dame Carol Kidu, claimed 50% of those
seeking medical help after rape are under 16, 25% are under 12, and
10% are under 8.
The 1976 Sorcery Act imposed a penalty of up to 2 years in prison for
the practice of "black" magic, until the Act was repealed in
2013. An estimated 50–150 alleged witches are killed
each year in Papua New Guinea. There are also no
protections given to LGBT citizens in the country. Homosexual acts are
prohibited by law in Papua New Guinea.
Main articles: Regions of Papua New Guinea, Provinces of Papua New
Guinea, Districts of Papua New Guinea, and Local-level governments of
Papua New Guinea
Guinea is divided into four regions, which are not the
primary administrative divisions but are quite significant in many
aspects of government, commercial, sporting and other activities.
The nation has 22 province-level divisions: twenty provinces, the
Autonomous Region of Bougainville
Autonomous Region of Bougainville and the National Capital District.
Each province is divided into one or more districts, which in turn are
divided into one or more Local-Level Government areas.
Provinces are the primary administrative divisions of the
country. Provincial governments are branches of the national
government as Papua New
Guinea is not a federation of provinces. The
province-level divisions are as follows:
East New Britain
Northern (Oro Province)
Bougainville (autonomous region)
Western Province (Fly)
West New Britain
National Capital District (Port Moresby)
Provinces of Papua New Guinea.
In 2009, Parliament approved the creation of two additional provinces:
Hela Province, consisting of part of the existing Southern Highlands
Province, and Jiwaka Province, formed by dividing Western Highlands
Province. Jiwaka and Hela officially became separate
provinces on 17 May 2012. The declaration of Hela and
Jiwaka is a result of the largest liquefied natural gas
(LNG) project in the country that is situated in both
provinces. The government set 17 October 2019 as the voting date for
an independence referendum in the Bougainville autonomous
Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Australian Strategic Policy Institute has said
that there is a wide expectation Bougainville will vote to become
Main article: Geography of Papua New Guinea
Map of Papua New Guinea
At 462,840 km2 (178,704 sq mi), Papua New
Guinea is the
world's 54th largest country and the 3rd largest island
country. Including all its islands, it lies between
latitudes 0° and 12°S, and longitudes 140° and 160°E. It has an
exclusive economic zone of 2,402,288 km2
(927,529 sq mi).
Located north of the Australian mainland, the country's geography is
diverse and, in places, extremely rugged. A spine of mountains, the
Guinea Highlands, runs the length of the island of New Guinea,
forming a populous highlands region mostly covered with tropical
rainforest, and the long Papuan Peninsula, known as the 'Bird's Tail'.
Dense rainforests can be found in the lowland and coastal areas as
well as very large wetland areas surrounding the
Sepik and Fly rivers.
This terrain has made it difficult for the country to develop
transportation infrastructure. Some areas are accessible only on foot
or by aeroplane. The highest peak is Mount
Wilhelm at 4,509 metres (14,793 ft). Papua New
surrounded by coral reefs which are under close watch, in the
interests of preservation.
The country is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, at the point of
collision of several tectonic plates. There are a number of active
volcanoes, and eruptions are frequent. Earthquakes are relatively
common, sometimes accompanied by tsunamis.
The mainland of the country is the eastern half of New
where the largest towns are also located, including Port Moresby
(capital) and Lae; other major islands within Papua New
New Ireland, New Britain, Manus and Bougainville.
Guinea is one of the few regions close to the equator that
experience snowfall, which occurs in the most elevated parts of the
The border between Papua New
Indonesia was confirmed by
Australia before independence in 1974. The
land border comprises a segment of the 141° E meridian from the north
coast southwards to where it meets the
Fly River flowing east, then a
short curve of the river's thalweg to where it meets the 141°01'10" E
meridian flowing west, then southwards to the south coast.
The 141° E meridian formed the entire eastern boundary of Dutch New
Guinea according to its 1828 annexation proclamation. In
1895 the Dutch and British agreed to a territorial exchange, bringing
the entire left bank of the
Fly River into British New
moving the southern border east to the Torasi Estuary.
The maritime boundary with
Australia was confirmed by a treaty in
1978. In the
Torres Strait it runs close to the mainland
of New Guinea, keeping the adjacent North Western Torres Strait
Islands (Dauan, Boigu and Saibai) under Australian sovereignty.
Maritime boundaries with the
Solomon Islands were confirmed by a 1989
See also: Conservation in Papua New
Guinea and List of protected areas
of Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea's highlands
Guinea is part of the Australasia ecozone, which also
includes Australia, New Zealand, eastern Indonesia, and several
Pacific island groups, including the
Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Geologically, the island of New
Guinea is a northern extension of the
Indo-Australian tectonic plate, forming part of a single land mass
which is Australia-New
Guinea (also called Sahul or Meganesia). It is
connected to the Australian segment by a shallow continental shelf
across the Torres Strait, which in former ages lay exposed as a land
bridge, particularly during ice ages when sea levels were lower than
Consequently, many species of birds and mammals found on New Guinea
have close genetic links with corresponding species found in
Australia. One notable feature in common for the two landmasses is the
existence of several species of marsupial mammals, including some
kangaroos and possums, which are not found elsewhere. Papua New Guinea
is a megadiverse country.
Many of the other islands within PNG territory, including New Britain,
New Ireland, Bougainville, the Admiralty Islands, the Trobriand
Islands, and the Louisiade Archipelago, were never linked to New
Guinea by land bridges. As a consequence, they have their own flora
and fauna; in particular, they lack many of the land mammals and
flightless birds that are common to New
Guinea and Australia.
A tree-kangaroo in Papua New Guinea
Australia and New
Guinea are portions of the ancient supercontinent of
Gondwana, which started to break into smaller continents in the
Cretaceous period, 65–130 million years ago.
Australia finally broke
Antarctica about 45 million years ago. All the Australasian
lands are home to the Antarctic flora, descended from the flora of
southern Gondwana, including the coniferous podocarps and Araucaria
pines, and the broadleafed southern beech (Nothofagus). These plant
families are still present in Papua New Guinea.
Indo-Australian Plate (which includes landmasses of India,
Australia, and the Indian Ocean floor in between) drifts north, it
collides with the Eurasian Plate. The collision of the two plates
pushed up the Himalayas, the Indonesian islands, and New Guinea's
Central Range. The Central Range is much younger and higher than the
mountains of Australia, so high that it is home to rare equatorial
Guinea is part of the humid tropics, and many
Indomalayan rainforest plants spread across the narrow straits from
Asia, mixing together with the old Australian and Antarctic floras.
PNG includes a number of terrestrial ecoregions:
Admiralty Islands lowland rain forests – forested islands to the
north of the mainland, home to a distinct flora.
Central Range montane rain forests Green tropical rainforest of Papua
Guinea bears a sharp contrast to nearby arid Australia.
Huon Peninsula montane rain forests
Louisiade Archipelago rain forests
New Britain-New Ireland lowland rain forests
New Britain-New Ireland montane rain forests
Guinea lowland rain and freshwater swamp forests
Guinea montane rain forests
Solomon Islands rain forests (includes
Bougainville Island and Buka)
Southeastern Papuan rain forests
Guinea freshwater swamp forests
Guinea lowland rain forests
Trobriand Islands rain forests
Trans Fly savanna and grasslands
Central Range sub-alpine grasslands
Three new species of mammals were discovered in the forests of Papua
Guinea by an Australian-led expedition. A small wallaby, a
large-eared mouse and shrew-like marsupial were discovered. The
expedition was also successful in capturing photographs and video
footage of some other rare animals such as the
Tenkile tree kangaroo
and the Weimang tree kangaroo.
Main article: Environmental issues in Papua New Guinea
At current rates of deforestation, more than half of Papua New
Guinea's forests could be lost or seriously degraded by 2021,
according to a new satellite study of the region. Nearly
one quarter of Papua New Guinea's rainforests were damaged or
destroyed between 1972 and 2002.
Main article: 2018 Papua New
On 25 February 2018, an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 and depth of 35
kilometres struck the middle of Papua New Guinea. The
worst of the damage was centred around the Southern Highlands region.
As of 1 March there were 31 reported deaths, and that number was
expected to rise.
Main article: Economy of Papua New Guinea
Port Moresby's central business district
Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, including
mineral and renewable resources, such as forests, marine (including a
large portion of the world's major tuna stocks), and in some parts
agriculture. The rugged terrain—including high mountain ranges and
valleys, swamps and islands—and high cost of developing
infrastructure, combined with other factors (including serious law and
order problems in some centres and the system of customary land title)
makes it difficult for outside developers. Local developers are
handicapped by years of deficient investment in education, health, ICT
and access to finance. Agriculture, for subsistence and cash crops,
provides a livelihood for 85% of the population and continues to
provide some 30% of GDP. Mineral deposits, including gold, oil, and
copper, account for 72% of export earnings. Oil palm production has
grown steadily over recent years (largely from estates and with
extensive outgrower output), with palm oil now the main agricultural
export. In households participating, coffee remains the major export
crop (produced largely in the Highlands provinces), followed by cocoa
and coconut oil/copra from the coastal areas, each largely produced by
smallholders and tea, produced on estates and rubber. The
Iagifu/Hedinia Field was discovered in 1986 in the Papuan fold and
Former Prime Minister Sir
Mekere Morauta tried to restore integrity to
state institutions, stabilise the kina, restore stability to the
national budget, privatise public enterprises where appropriate, and
ensure ongoing peace on Bougainville following the 1997 agreement
which ended Bougainville's secessionist unrest. The Morauta government
had considerable success in attracting international support,
specifically gaining the backing of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and the
World Bank in securing development assistance loans.
Significant challenges face Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare,
including gaining further investor confidence, continuing efforts to
privatise government assets, and maintaining the support of members of
In March 2006, the
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Development Programme Policy called
for Papua New Guinea's designation of developing country to be
downgraded to least-developed country because of protracted economic
and social stagnation. However, an evaluation by the IMF
in late 2008 found that "a combination of prudent fiscal and monetary
policies, and high global prices for mineral commodity exports, have
underpinned Papua New Guinea's recent buoyant economic growth and
macroeconomic stability. By 2012 PNG had enjoyed a decade of positive
economic growth, at over 6% since 2007, even during the Global
Financial Crisis years of 2008/9. PNG's Real GDP growth rate as at
2011 was 8.9%," and 9.2% for 2012, according to the Asian
This economic growth has been primarily attributed to strong commodity
prices, particularly mineral but also agricultural, with the high
demand for mineral products largely sustained even during the crisis
by the buoyant Asian markets, a booming mining sector, and
particularly since 2009 by a buoyant outlook
and the construction phase for natural gas exploration, production,
and exportation in liquefied form (liquefied natural gas or "LNG") by
LNG tankers (LNG carrier), all of which will require
multibillion-dollar investments (exploration, production wells,
pipelines, storage, liquefaction plants, port terminals, LNG tanker
The first major gas project was the PNG LNG joint venture. ExxonMobil
is operator of the joint venture, also comprising PNG company Oil
Search, Santos, Kumul
Petroleum Holdings (Papua New Guinea's national
oil and gas company), JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration, the PNG
Mineral Resources Development Company and Petromin PNG
Holdings. The project is an integrated development that
includes gas production and processing facilities in the Hela,
Southern Highlands and Western Provinces of Papua New Guinea,
including liquefaction and storage facilities (located northwest of
Port Moresby) with capacity of 6.9 million tonnes per year. There are
over 700 kilometres (430 mi) of pipelines connecting the
facilities. It is the largest private-sector investment in
the history of PNG.
A second major project is based on initial rights held by the French
oil and gas major
Total S.A. and the US company
InterOil Corp. (IOC),
which have partly combined their assets after Total agreed in December
2013 to purchase 61.3% of IOC's Antelope and Elk gas field rights,
with the plan to develop them starting in 2016, including the
construction of a liquefaction plant to allow export of LNG. Total
S.A. has separately another joint operating agreement with Oil Search.
Further gas and mineral projects are proposed (including the large
Wafi-Golpu copper-gold mine), with extensive exploration ongoing
across the country.
Economic 'development' based on the extractive industries carries
difficult consequences for local communities. There has been much
contention[clarification needed] around river tailings in the
vast Fly River, submarine tailings from the
new Ramu-Nickel-cobalt mine, commencing exports in late 2012 (after a
delay from landowner-led court challenges),
and from proposed submarine mining in the Bismarck Sea (by Nautilus
Minerals). One major project conducted
through the PNG Department for Community Development suggested that
other pathways to sustainable development should be
The PNG government's long-term Vision 2050 and shorter-term policy
documents, including the 2013 Budget and the 2014 Responsible
Sustainable Development Strategy, emphasise the need for a more
diverse economy, based upon sustainable industries and avoiding the
Dutch disease from major resource extraction projects
undermining other industries, as has occurred in many countries
experiencing oil or other mineral booms, notably in Western Africa,
undermining much of their agriculture sector, manufacturing and
tourism, and with them broad-based employment prospects. Measures have
been taken to mitigate these effects, including through the
establishment of a sovereign wealth fund, partly to stabilise revenue
and expenditure flows, but much will depend upon the readiness to make
real reforms to effective use of revenue, tackling rampant corruption
and empowering households and businesses to access markets, services
and develop a more buoyant economy, with lower costs, especially for
small to medium-size enterprises.
The Institute of National Affairs, a PNG independent policy think
tank, provides a report on the business and investment environment of
Guinea every five years, based upon a survey of large and
small, local and overseas companies, highlighting law and order
problems and corruption, as the worst impediments, followed by the
poor state of transport, power and communications
Ok Tedi Mine
Ok Tedi Mine in southwestern Papua New Guinea
The PNG legislature has enacted laws in which a type of tenure called
"customary land title" is recognised, meaning that the traditional
lands of the indigenous peoples have some legal basis to inalienable
tenure. This customary land notionally covers most of the usable land
in the country (some 97% of total land area); alienated
land is either held privately under state lease or is government land.
Freehold title (also known as fee simple) can only be held by Papua
New Guinean citizens.
Only some 3% of the land of Papua New
Guinea is in private hands; this
is privately held under 99-year state lease, or it is held by the
State. There is virtually no freehold title; the few existing
freeholds are automatically converted to state lease when they are
transferred between vendor and purchaser. Unalienated land is owned
under customary title by traditional landowners. The precise nature of
the seisin varies from one culture to another. Many writers portray
land as in the communal ownership of traditional clans; however,
closer studies usually show that the smallest portions of land whose
ownership cannot be further divided are held by the individual heads
of extended families and their descendants or their descendants alone
if they have recently died.
This is a matter of vital importance because a problem of economic
development is identifying the membership of customary landowning
groups and the owners. Disputes between mining and forestry companies
and landowner groups often devolve on the issue of whether the
companies entered into contractual relations for the use of land with
the true owners. Customary property—usually land—cannot be devised
by will. It can only be inherited according to the custom of the
deceased's people. The Lands Act was amended
in 2010 along with the Land Group Incorporation Act, intended to
improve the management of state land, mechanisms for dispute
resolution over land, and to enable customary landowners to be better
able to access finance and possible partnerships over portions of
their land, if they seek to develop it for urban or rural economic
activities. The Land Group Incorporation Act requires more specific
identification of the customary landowners than hitherto and their
more specific authorisation before any land arrangements are
determined; (a major issue in recent years has been a land grab,
using, or rather misusing, the Lease-Leaseback provision under the
Land Act, notably using '
Special Agricultural and Business Leases'
(SABLs) to acquire vast tracts of customary land, purportedly for
agricultural projects, but in an almost all cases as a back-door
mechanism for securing tropical forest resources for
logging—circumventing the more exacting requirements of the Forest
Act, for securing Timber Permits (which must comply with
sustainability requirements and be competitively secured, and with the
customary landowners approval). Following a national outcry, these
SABLs have been subject to a Commission of Inquiry, established in
mid-2011, for which the report is still awaited for initial
presentation to the Prime Minister and Parliament.
Main article: Demographics of Papua New Guinea
Guinea is one of the most heterogeneous nations in the
world. There are hundreds of ethnic groups indigenous to
Papua New Guinea, the majority being from the group known as Papuans,
whose ancestors arrived in the New
Guinea region tens of thousands of
years ago. The other indigenous peoples are Austronesians, their
ancestors having arrived in the region less than four thousand years
There are also numerous people from other parts of the world now
resident, including Chinese, Europeans, Australians,
Indonesians, Filipinos, Polynesians, and Micronesians (the last four
belonging to the Austronesian family). Around 40,000 expatriates,
Australia and China, were living in Papua New
vte Largest cities and towns in Papua New
National capital district
East New Britain
West New Britain
According to the CIA World Factbook (2018), Papua New
the second lowest urban population percentage in the world, with
13.2%, only behind Burundi. The geography and economy of Papua New
Guinea are the main factors behind the low percentage. Papua New
Guinea has an urbanisation rate of 2.51%, measured as the projected
change in urban population from 2015 to 2020.
According to Statista (2017), here are the urban population
percentages in Papua New
Guinea from 2007 to 2017: 13.07, 13.06,
13.04, 13.02, 13, 12.98, 12.98, 12.99, 13.01, 13.05 and 13.1.
The language families of Papua New Guinea, according to Timothy
The language families in Ross's conception of the Trans-New Guinea
language family. The affiliation of some Eastern branches is not
Huli wigman from the Southern HighlandsMain article: Languages of
Papua New Guinea
Guinea has more languages than any other
country, with over 820 indigenous languages, representing
12% of the world's total, but most have fewer than 1,000 speakers. The
most widely spoken indigenous language is Enga, with about 200,000
speakers, followed by Melpa and Huli. Indigenous languages
are classified into two large groups,
Austronesian languages and
non-Austronesian, or Papuan, languages. There are four official
languages in Papua New Guinea: English, sign language (which in
practice means Papua New Guinean Sign Language),
Tok Pisin and Hiri
English is the language of government and the education system, but it
is not spoken widely.
The primary lingua franca of the country is
Tok Pisin (commonly known
in English as New Guinean Pidgin or Melanesian Pidgin), in which much
of the debate in Parliament is conducted, many information campaigns
and advertisements are presented, and until recently a national
newspaper, Wantok, was published. The only area where
Tok Pisin is not
prevalent is the southern region of Papua, where people often use the
third official language, Hiri Motu.
Although it lies in the Papua region,
Port Moresby has a highly
diverse population which primarily uses Tok Pisin, and to a lesser
extent English, with Motu spoken as the indigenous language in
outlying villages. With an average of only 7,000 speakers per
language, Papua New
Guinea has a greater density of languages than any
other nation on earth except Vanuatu.[citation
Main article: Health in Papua New Guinea
Main article: Religion in Papua New Guinea
Citizen population in Papua New
Guinea by religion, based on the 2011
Roman Catholic (26%) Evangelical Lutheran
Church of Papua New
Guinea (18.4%) Seventh-day Adventist
Pentecostal (10.4%) United Church in
Guinea and the Solomon Islands
Evangelical Alliance Papua New Guinea
(5.9%) Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
Baptist (2.8%) Salvation Army
(0.4%) Kwato Church (0.2%) Other Christian
(5.1%) Non Christian (1.4%) Not stated (3.1%)
The government and judiciary uphold the constitutional right to
freedom of speech, thought, and belief, and no legislation to curb
those rights has been adopted. The 2011 census found that 95.6% of
citizens identified themselves as Christian, 1.4% were not Christian,
and 3.1% gave no answer. Virtually no respondent identified as having
Religious syncretism is high, with many citizens
combining their Christian faith with some traditional indigenous
Most Christians in Papau New
Guinea are Protestants, constituting
roughly 70% of the total population. They are mostly represented by
the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea, the Seventh-day
Adventist Church, diverse
Pentecostal denominations, the United Church
in Papua New
Guinea and the Solomon Islands, the Evangelical Alliance
Papua New Guinea, and the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea. Apart
from Protestants, there is a notable
Roman Catholic minority with
approximately 25% of the population.
There are approximately 2,000 Muslims in the country. The majority
belong to the
Sunni group, while a small number are Ahmadi.
Non-traditional Christian churches and non-Christian religious groups
are active throughout the country. The Papua New
Guinea Council of
Churches has stated that both Muslim and Confucian missionaries are
Traditional religions are often animist. Some also tend to have
elements of veneration of the dead, though generalisation is suspect
given the extreme heterogeneity of Melanesian societies. Prevalent
among traditional tribes is the belief in masalai, or evil spirits,
which are blamed for "poisoning" people, causing calamity and death,
and the practice of puripuri (sorcery).
Main articles: Culture of Papua New Guinea, Music of Papua New Guinea,
and Papua New Guinean cuisine
Bilum bag from Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province
A resident of Boga-Boga, a village on the southeast coast of
mainland Papua New Guinea
A 20th-century wooden
Abelam ancestor figure (nggwalndu)
It is estimated that more than a thousand cultural groups exist in
Papua New Guinea. Because of this diversity, many styles of cultural
expression have emerged. Each group has created its own expressive
forms in art, dance, weaponry, costumes, singing, music, architecture
and much more.
Most of these cultural groups have their own language. People
typically live in villages that rely on subsistence farming. In some
areas people hunt and collect wild plants (such as yam roots and
karuka) to supplement their diets. Those who become skilled at
hunting, farming and fishing earn a great deal of respect.
Sepik river, there is a tradition of wood carving, often in the
form of plants or animals, representing ancestor spirits.
Seashells are no longer the currency of Papua New Guinea, as they were
in some regions—sea shells were abolished as currency in 1933. This
tradition is still present in local customs. In some cultures, to get
a bride, a groom must bring a certain number of golden-edged clam
shells as a bride price. In other regions, the bride price
is paid in lengths of shell money, pigs, cassowaries or cash.
Elsewhere, it is brides who traditionally pay a dowry.
People of the highlands engage in colourful local rituals that are
called "sing sings". They paint themselves and dress up with feathers,
pearls and animal skins to represent birds, trees or mountain spirits.
Sometimes an important event, such as a legendary battle, is enacted
at such a musical festival.
The country possesses one (1)
UNESCO World Heritage site, namely, Kuk
Early Agricultural Site, which was inscribed in 2008. The country,
however, has no elements inscribed yet in the
Cultural Heritage Lists, despite having one of the widest array of
intangible cultural heritage elements in the
Main article: Sport in Papua New Guinea
Sport is an important part of Papua New Guinean culture and rugby
league is by far the most popular sport. In a nation
where communities are far apart and many people live at a minimal
subsistence level, rugby league has been described as a replacement
for tribal warfare as a way of explaining the local enthusiasm for the
game (a matter of life or death). Many Papua New Guineans have become
instant celebrities by representing their country or playing in an
overseas professional league. Even Australian rugby league players who
have played in the annual State of Origin series, which is celebrated
feverishly every year in PNG, are among the most well-known people
throughout the nation.
State of Origin is a highlight of the year for most Papua New
Guineans, although the support is so passionate that many people have
died over the years in violent clashes supporting their
team. The Papua New
Guinea national rugby league team
usually plays against the Australian Prime Minister's XIII (a
selection of NRL players) each year, normally in Port Moresby.
Although not as popular,
Australian rules football
Australian rules football is more significant
in another way, as the national team is ranked second, only after
Australia. Other major sports which have a part in the Papua New
Guinea sporting landscape are association football, rugby union,
basketball and, in eastern Papua, cricket.
The capital city, Port Moresby, hosted the
Pacific Games in 2015.
Main article: Education in Papua New Guinea
A large proportion of the population is illiterate, with
women predominating in this area. Much of the education
in PNG is provided by church institutions. This includes
500 schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New
Guinea. Papua New
Guinea has six universities apart from
other major tertiary institutions. The two founding universities are
the University of Papua New Guinea, based in the National Capital
District, and the Papua New
Guinea University of
Technology, based outside of Lae, in Morobe Province.
The four other universities which were once colleges were established
recently after gaining government recognition. These are the
Goroka in the Eastern Highlands province, Divine Word
University (run by the Catholic Church's Divine Word Missionaries) in
Madang Province, Vudal University in
East New Britain Province
East New Britain Province and
Pacific Adventist University
Pacific Adventist University (run by the
Seventh-day Adventist Church)
in the National Capital District.
Science and technology
Papua New Guinea's National Vision 2050 was adopted in 2009. This has
led to the establishment of the Research, Science and Technology
Council. At its gathering in November 2014, the Council re-emphasised
the need to focus on sustainable development through science and
Vision 2050's medium-term priorities are:
emerging industrial technology for downstream processing;
infrastructure technology for the economic corridors;
science and engineering education; and
to reach the target of investing 5% of GDP in research and development
by 2050. (There is no recent data for this indicator.)
According to Thomson Reuters' Web of Science, Papua New
Guinea had the
largest number of publications (110) among Pacific Island states in
2014, followed by
Fiji (106). Nine out of ten scientific publications
from Papua New
Guinea focused on immunology, genetics, biotechnology
and microbiology. Nine out of ten were also co-authored by scientists
from other countries, mainly Australia, the
United States of America,
Spain and Switzerland.
Forestry is an important economic resource for Papua New
the industry uses low and semi-intensive technological inputs. As a
result, product ranges are limited to sawed timber, veneer, plywood,
block board, moulding, poles and posts and wood chips. Only a few
limited finished products are exported. Lack of automated machinery,
coupled with inadequately trained local technical personnel, are some
of the obstacles to introducing automated machinery and design.
Policy-makers need to turn their attention to eliminating these
barriers, in order for forestry to make a more efficient and
sustainable contribution to national economic
In Papua New Guinea, renewable energy sources represent two-thirds of
the total electricity supply. In 2015, the Secretariat of
Pacific Community observed that, 'while Fiji, Papua New
Samoa are leading the way with large-scale hydropower projects, there
is enormous potential to expand the deployment of other renewable
energy options such as solar, wind, geothermal and ocean-based energy
European Union has funded the Renewable
Energy in Pacific Island Countries Developing Skills and Capacity
programme (EPIC). Since its inception in 2013, the programme has
developed a master's programme in renewable energy management at the
University of Papua New
Guinea and helped to establish a Centre of
Renewable Energy at the same university.
Guinea is one of the 15 beneficiaries of a programme on
Adapting to Climate Change and Sustainable Energy worth €37.26
million. The programme resulted from the signing of an agreement in
February 2014 between the
European Union and the Pacific Islands Forum
Secretariat. The other beneficiaries are the Cook Islands, Fiji,
Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru,
Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga,
Main article: Transport in Papua New Guinea
Transport in Papua New
Guinea is heavily limited by the country's
mountainous terrain. As a result, air travel is the single most
important form of transport for human and high density/value freight.
Airplanes made it possible to open up the country during its early
colonial period. Even today the two largest cities,
Port Moresby and
Lae, are only directly connected by planes.
Port Moresby is not linked
by road to any of the other major towns, and many remote villages can
only be reached by light aircraft or on foot.
Jacksons International Airport
Jacksons International Airport is the major international airport in
Papua New Guinea, located 8 kilometres (5 mi) from Port Moresby.
In addition to two international airfields, Papua New
Guinea has 578
airstrips, most of which are unpaved.
Outline of Papua New Guinea
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.mw-parser-output .nobold font-weight:normal Outline
vteIslands of Papua New Guinea
Duke of York Island / Duke of York Islands
Lihir Island / Lihir Group
North Solomon Islands
Pana Wina Island
St. Andrews Islands
St Matthias Islands
Pacific Islands Forum
Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)Members
Papua New Guinea
Northern Mariana Islands
Wallis and Futuna
African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
Asian Development Bank
Commonwealth of Nations
International Organization for Migration
Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)
vteAssociation of Southeast Asian NationsPolitics
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Treaty of Amity and Cooperation
Observer and Candidate for Member
Papua New Guinea
East Asia Summit
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NAM News Network
Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence
Non-Aligned Foreign Ministers Conference
16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement
Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavia)
Jawaharlal Nehru (India)
Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana)
Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt)
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)Nations
Papua New Guinea
APEC Business Travel Card
APEC Climate Center
APEC Sculpture Garden
APEC Youth Science Festival
1. A special administrative region of China, participates as "Hong
Kong, China"; 2. Officially the Republic of China, as known as Taiwan,
participates as "Chinese Taipei"
vteWorld Trade OrganizationSystem
Accession and membership
Dispute Settlement Body
International Trade Centre
Chronology of key events
Doha Development Round
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
Technical Barriers to Trade
Trade Related Investment Measures
Trade in Services
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
Roberto Azevêdo (Director-General)
Antigua and Barbuda
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
Papua New Guinea
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
Special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China,
participates as "Hong Kong, China" and "Macao China".
Officially the Republic of China, participates as "Separate Customs
Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu", and "Chinese Taipei"
vteMembers of the Commonwealth of NationsSovereign states (Members)
Antigua and Barbuda
Papua New Guinea
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Dependencies of MembersAustralia
Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Australian Antarctic Territory
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Coral Sea Islands
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
British Antarctic Territory
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
Isle of Man
St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
Source: Commonwealth Secretariat - Member States
vteCommonwealth realms and dominionsCurrent
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda (monarchy)
Realm of New Zealand
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis (monarchy)
Saint Lucia (monarchy)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (monarchy)
Solomon Islands (monarchy)
United Kingdom (monarchy)
South Africa (monarchy)
Trinidad and Tobago
1 Annexed by
Canada in 1949
Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence in 1965, but this was
not recognised internationally. Declared itself a republic in 1970.
Papua New Guinea
Other political units
Western New Guinea
Santa Cruz Islands
Raja Ampat Islands
Torres Strait Islands
Melanesian Spearhead Group
Melanesian Super Cup
United Liberation Movement for West Papua
vteCountries and territories of OceaniaSovereign statesEntire
Federated States of Micronesia
Papua New Guinea
Juan Fernández Islands
Associated statesof New Zealand
Dependencies andother territoriesAustralia
Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Coral Sea Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
Wallis and Futuna
vteCountries of the Malay Archipelago
Papua New Guinea
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