The island of New Guinea hosts the third largest expanse of tropical rainforest on the planet. Papua New Guinea—comprising the eastern half of the island—plans to nearly double its national road network (from 8,700 to 15,000 km) over the next three years, to spur economic growth. We assessed these plans using fine-scale biophysical and environmental data. We identified numerous environmental and socioeconomic risks associated with these projects, including the dissection of 54 critical biodiversity habitats and diminished forest connectivity across large expanses of the island.
Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) forests and forestry have played an important role in the livelihoods of the people of the country for many years. Forests have provided a source for food, fruits and nuts, building materials, medicinal plants, habitats for refuge and a wealth of other services.
Oil palm prices may hold up in the medium term, with strong demand from India and China. Yet, like other non-oil commodities, oil palm prices are likely to remain volatile, and to experience a long term relative price decline. (Chapter 3). World prices are not the main problem for small farmers in PNG. Three factors are likely to place a ceiling on the economic benefits for small farmers: (i) small farmers remain at the highly competitive end of a large grower market, with little market power, keeping them as ‘price takers’; (ii) a large monopsony (all
Climate change and migration
This report stems from a simple observation: that since Independence in 1975, Papua New Guinea’s economic and social development outcomes have not matched people’s aspirations or government promises. Indeed, despite the abundance of its riches, PNG lags behind its Pacific neighbours on many important development indicators.
Agriculture s the foundation of and heart of the rural PNG economy with over 85% of its 7.5 million people depending on the sector for their livelihoods. This sector is faced with so many challenges including climate change, lack of access to markets and so on. The access to suitable and timely information and knowledge is also seen to be one of the key drawbacks of agriculture advancement in PNG.