Coordinates : 6°S 147°E / 6°S 147°E / -6; 147
Independent State of Papua New Guinea
* Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini
* Papua Niu Gini
Flag National emblem
Unity in diversity "
O Arise, All You Sons
Location of Papua
New Guinea (green)
and largest city
9°30′S 147°07′E / 9.500°S 147.117°E / -9.500;
* Hiri Motu
* PNG Sign Language
Christianity (different denominations )
Papua New Guinean
• PRIME MINISTER
INDEPENDENCE FROM AUSTRALIA
• PAPUA AND NEW GUINEA ACT 1949
1 July 1949
• DECLARED AND RECOGNISED
16 September 1975
462,840 km2 (178,700 sq mi) (56th )
• WATER (%)
• 2011 CENSUS PRELIMINARY ESTIMATE
7,059,653 (102nd )
• 2000 CENSUS
15/km2 (38.8/sq mi) (201st )
GDP (PPP )
$29.481 billion (139th )
• PER CAPITA
$21.189 billion (115th )
• PER CAPITA
low · 154th
Papua New Guinean kina (PGK )
AEST (UTC +10, +11)
DRIVES ON THE
ISO 3166 CODE
PAPUA NEW GUINEA (PNG; /ˈpæpuə njuː ˈɡɪniː, ˈpɑː-, -pju-/
, US : /ˈpæpjuə, pɑːˈpuːə/ ;
Tok Pisin : Papua Niugini; Hiri
Motu : Papua Niu Gini), officially the INDEPENDENT STATE OF PAPUA NEW
GUINEA, is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the
New Guinea and its offshore islands in
Melanesia , a region
of the southwestern
Pacific Ocean north of
Australia . Its capital,
located along its southeastern coast, is
Port Moresby . The western
New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West
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
World War I
World War I . It became an independent
Commonwealth realm in
1975 with Queen
Elizabeth II as its head of state and became a member
Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations in its own right.
New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in
the world. There are 852 known languages in the country, of which 12
now have no known living speakers. Most of the population of more
than 7 million people live in customary communities , which are as
diverse as the languages. It is also one of the most rural, as only
18 percent of its people live in urban centres. 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
New Guinea is classified as a developing economy by the
International Monetary Fund
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
in Panguna mine in
Bougainville Province , which has been closed since
the civil war in the 1980s–1990s. Nearly 40 percent of the
population lives a self-sustainable natural lifestyle with no access
to global capital.
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
* 1 History
* 2 Government and politics
* 2.1 Law
* 2.2 Human rights
* 2.3 Administrative divisions
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Borders
* 3.2 Ecology
* 3.3 Environmental issues
* 4 Economy
* 4.1 Land tenure
* 5 Demographics
* 5.1 Urbanization
* 5.2 Languages
* 5.3 Health
* 5.4 Religion
* 6 Culture
* 6.1 Sport
* 7 Education
* 8 Science and technology
* 9 Transport
* 10 See also
* 11 Sources
* 12 References
* 12.1 Further reading
* 12.2 Primary sources
* 13 External links
Main article: History of Papua
Archaeological evidence indicates that humans first arrived in Papua
New 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 migration.
Kerepunu women at the marketplace of Kalo, British New Guinea,
1885 Slaked lime holder, late 19th or early 20th century. The
holder is decorated with wood carving of crocodile and bird. Details
are emphasised with a white paint. The central portion, hollow to hold
the slaked lime, is made of bamboo. The joints are covered with
basketry work. The device is used in conjunction with chewing betel
Agriculture was independently developed in the
New Guinea highlands
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 practises. According to
writer Marianna Torgovnick, "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 groups."
Little was known in Europe about the island until the 19th century,
although Portuguese and Spanish explorers , such as Dom Jorge de
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 plumes.
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 Portuguese word Guiné. New Guinea
from 1884 to 1919. Germany and Britain controlled the eastern half of
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 the Great War , Australian
forces landed and captured German
New Guinea in a small military
Australia maintained occupation of the territory with its
forces through the war. After the war, in which Germany and the
Central Powers were defeated, the
League of Nations
League of Nations authorised
Australia to administer this area as a Mandate territory.
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,
New Guinea was renamed as the
Territory of Papua
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,
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.
World War II
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". Australian
patrol officer in 1964
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 as the largest aid donor to Papua New
New Guinea was admitted to membership in the United
Nations on 10 October 1975.
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 Island started in 1988 and claimed 20,000 lives until it
was resolved in 1997. Bougainville had been the chief 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 Papua New
Guinean 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.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Politics of Papua New Guinea
New Guinea is a
Commonwealth realm . As such, Queen Elizabeth
II is its sovereign and head of state. 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
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 Peter O\'Neill . 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-month 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.
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
1976, followed later by
Special Observer status in 1981. It is also a
APEC and an ACP country, associated with the European Union.
Prime Minister Peter O\'Neill
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
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 an amendment of 2002, 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 Leon Dion, the former
Governor of East
New Britain Province, as deputy prime minister.
The Parliament building of Papua
New Guinea in
Main article: Law of Papua
The unicameral Parliament enacts legislation in the same manner as in
other jurisdictions that have "cabinet," "responsible government," or
"parliamentary democracy": it is introduced by the executive
government to the legislature, debated and, if passed, becomes law
when it receives royal assent by the Governor-General. Most
legislation is regulation implemented by the bureaucracy under
enabling legislation previously passed by Parliament.
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 England 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
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'.
Main article: Human rights in Papua
New Guinea See also: Sexual
violence in Papua
New Guinea is often ranked as likely the worst place in the
world for violence against women . A 2013 study in
The Lancet found
that 41% 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
ChildFund Australia, 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. Homosexual acts are prohibited by
law in Papua New Guinea.
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
Main articles: Regions of Papua
New Guinea , Provinces of Papua New
Guinea , and Districts and LLGs of Papua
New 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 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 –
New Guinea is not a federation of provinces. The province-level
divisions are as follows:
* Chimbu (Simbu)
* Eastern Highlands
* Milne Bay
* New Ireland
* Northern (
Oro Province )
* Bougainville (autonomous region)
* Southern Highlands
* Western Province (Fly)
* Western Highlands
West Sepik (Sandaun)
National Capital District
In 2009, Parliament approved the creation of two additional
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.
Geography of Papua New Guinea Map of Papua New
At 462,840 km2 (178,704 sq mi), Papua
New Guinea is the world's
fifty-fourth largest country. Including all its islands, it lies
between latitudes 0° and 12°S , and longitudes 140° and 160°E .
The country's geography is diverse and, in places, extremely rugged.
A spine of mountains, the
New 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
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
Mount Wilhelm at 4,509 metres (14,793 ft). Papua
New Guinea is
surrounded by coral reefs which are under close watch, in the
interests of preservation.
The country is situated on the
Pacific Ring of Fire
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 Guinea island,
where the largest towns are also located, including Port Moresby
Lae ; other major islands within Papua New Guinea
include New Ireland ,
New Britain , Manus and Bougainville .
New 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 Guinea and
Indonesia was confirmed by
Australia before independence in 1974. Maritime
Australia were confirmed by a treaty in 1978.
See also: Conservation in Papua
Papua New Guinea's highlands
New Guinea is part of the
Australasia ecozone , which also
New Zealand , eastern
Indonesia , and several
Pacific island groups, including the
Solomon Islands and
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
Torres Strait , which in former ages had lain exposed as a
land bridge , particularly during ice ages when sea levels were lower
than at present.
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.
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
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 are portions of the ancient supercontinent
Gondwana , which started to break into smaller continents in the
Cretaceous era, 66–130 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
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
New 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 The green jungle of Papua
New Guinea bears a sharp contrast to the nearby desert of Australia.
Huon Peninsula montane rain forests
Louisiade Archipelago rain forests
* New Britain-New Ireland lowland rain forests
* New Britain-New Ireland montane rain forests
New Guinea mangroves
New Guinea lowland rain and freshwater swamp forests
New Guinea montane rain forests
Solomon Islands rain forests (includes
Bougainville Island and
* Southeastern Papuan rain forests
New Guinea freshwater swamp forests
New 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
New 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.
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: Economy of Papua
New Guinea Port Moresby's
central business district
New 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
thrust belt . :471
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
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 Parliament.
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 International
Monetary Fund 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
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 ships).
The first major gas project was the PNG LNG joint venture. ExxonMobil
is operator of the joint venture, also comprising
Oil Search , Santos
Petroleum Holdings (Papua New Guinea’s national oil and gas
company), JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration , the PNG government's
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 fields 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 the PNG
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 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 considered.
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
New 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 infrastructure.
Ok Tedi Mine in southwestern Papua
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; it
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.
Demographics of Papua New Guinea Huli wigman from
the Southern Highlands
New 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 ago.
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, mostly from
Australia and China, were living in Papua
New Guinea in 1975.
Largest cities and towns in Papua New Guinea
National capital district
Main article: Languages of Papua
New Guinea The language
families in Ross's conception of the Trans-
New Guinea language family
New 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 for Papua New Guinea: English, "sign
language" (which in practice means
Papua New Guinean Sign Language ),
Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu .
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
New Guinea has a greater density of languages than any
other nation on earth except
Public expenditure was at 7.3% of all government expenditure in 2006,
whereas private expenditure was at 0.6% of the GDP. There were five
physicians per 100,000 people in the early 2000s. Malaria is the
leading cause of illness and death in New Guinea. In 2003, the most
recently reported year, 70,226 cases of laboratory confirmed malaria
were reported, along with 537 deaths. A total of 1,729,697 cases were
New Guinea has the highest incidence of HIV and AIDS in the
Pacific region and is the fourth country in the Asia Pacific region to
fit the criteria for a generalised HIV/AIDS epidemic. Lack of
HIV/AIDS awareness is a major problem, especially in rural areas.
The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Papua New
Guinea is 250. This is compared with 311.9 in 2008 and 476.3 in 1990.
The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 69 and the neonatal
mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 37. In Papua New
Guinea the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 1 and the
lifetime risk of death for pregnant women is 1 in 94.
Main article: Religion in Papua
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 (12.9%) Pentecostal
(10.4%) United Church in Papua
New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
Evangelical Alliance Papua
New Guinea (5.9%) Anglican
Church of Papua
New Guinea (3.2%)
Baptist (2.8%) Salvation Army
(0.4%) Kwato Church (0.2%) Other Christian (5.1%) Non Christian
(1.4%) Not stated (3.1%)
The courts and government practice 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 members of a Christian church, 1.4%
were not Christian, 3.1% did not answer this census question. These
who stated no religion accounted for, approximately, 0%. Many citizens
combine their Christian faith with some traditional indigenous
Christianity in Papua
New Guinea is predominantly made up of
Protestants , who collectively constitute roughly 70% of the total
population. They are mostly represented by the Evangelical Lutheran
Church of Papua
New Guinea , the
Seventh-day Adventist Church ,
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.
Among non Christians, the
Bahai Faith has a strong standing. There
are also approximately 4,000 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
active, and foreign missionary activity in general is high.
Traditional religions are often animist . Some also tend to have
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 and Music of Papua New
Guinea Bilum bag from
Eastern Highlands Province
A resident of Boga-Boga, a village on the southeast coast of mainland
New Guinea A 20th century wooden
Abelam ancestor figure
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 ) 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.
Sea shells 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.
Main article: Sport in Papua
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 and 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
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
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.
Other major sports which have a part in the Papua
New Guinea sporting
Australian rules football
Australian rules football ,
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
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
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 )
Madang Province , Vudal University in
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;
* knowledge-based technology;
* Science and engineering education; and
* to reach the target of investing 5% of GDP in research and
development by 2050. (There are 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, United Kingdom,
Spain and Switzerland.
Forestry is an important economic resource for Papua
New Guinea but
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 development.
In Papua New Guinea, renewable energy sources represent two-thirds of
the total electricity supply. In 2015, the Secretariat of the Pacific
Community observed that, 'while Fiji, Papua
New Guinea and
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
New Guinea and helped to establish a Centre of Renewable
Energy at the same university.
New 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
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.
Aeroplanes 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 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. Assets are not maintained to
good operating standards and poor transport remains a major impediment
to the development of ties of national unity.
* Geography portal
* Commonwealth realms portal
New Guinea portal
* Communications in Papua
* Conservation in Papua
* Foreign relations of Papua
* Human rights in Papua
* Military of Papua
* Outline of Papua
New Guinea honours system
* Tourism in Papua
Science and technology in Pacific Island countries
* List of cities and towns in Papua
* List of airports in Papua
* List of diplomatic missions in Papua
* List of Districts and Local Level Governments of Papua
* List of earthquakes in Papua
List of Papua New Guineans
This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed
under CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, 535-555,
UNESCO, UNESCO Publishing.
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see:Adding open license text to .
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Comparison, Dialectic (1993) excerpt and text search
* McCosker, Anne. Masked Eden: A History of the Australians in New
* Mckinnon, Rowan, et al. Papua
New Guinea & Solomon Islands
(Country Travel Guide) (2008) excerpt and text search
* Swadling, Pamela (1996). Plumes from Paradise. Papua New Guinea
National Museum. ISBN 9980-85-103-1 .
* Waiko. John. Short History of Papua
New Guinea (1993)
* Waiko, John Dademo. Papua New Guinea: A History of Our Times
* Zimmer-Tamakoshi, Laura. Modern Papua
New Guinea (1998) online
* Jinks, Brian, ed. Readings in
New Guinea history (1973)
Tim Flannery Throwim\' Way Leg: Tree-Kangaroos, Possums, and Penis
Gourds (2000) memoir excerpt and text search
* Malinowski, Bronislaw. Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An
Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of
New Guinea (2002) famous anthropological account of the
Trobriand Islanders; based on field work in 1910s online
* Visser, Leontine, ed. Governing New Guinea: An Oral History of
Papuan Administrators, 1950–1990 (2012)
* Whitaker, J.L. et al. eds. Documents and readings in New Guinea
history: Pre-history to 1889 (1975)
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* Definitions from Wiktionary
* Media from Commons