This introduction provides an overview and commentary on the papers in a special issue of PARKS, which is devoted
to the impact and implications of COVID-19 on the world’s protected and conserved areas. It describes how 11 peerreviewed
papers and 14 essays have brought together the knowledge and findings of numerous experts from all parts
of the world, supported by several wide-ranging surveys. The resulting global synthesis of experience answers some
key questions: why did the pandemic occur? what has it meant for protected and conserved areas, and the people
Eighty seven percent of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG’s) seven million people live in rural areas. Almost all the rest live in small urban centers, the majority of which have a population of well below 30,000 people. Only Port Moresby and Lae have sizable populations at about 365,000 and 88,000 respectively1. Average national population density is low at about 14 per km2. PNG’s population is characterized by a very diverse number of social groups, with strong local and clan-based affinities and allegiances. There are over 800 distinct languages.
Papua New Guinea has ratified all eight core ILO labour Conventions. In view of restrictions on the trade union rights of workers, discrimination, child labour, and forced labour, determined measures are needed to comply with the commitments Papua New Guinea accepted at Singapore, Geneva and Doha in the WTO Ministerial Declarations over 1996-2001, and in the ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its 2008 Social Justice Declaration.
- A defining feature of the Pacific is the Western Pacific Warm Pool ecosystem. The limited land base of the area is distributed among 200 high islands and 2,500 low islands and atolls. All
participating islands lie in the tropical zone and experience sea surface temperatures that rarely fall below 20 degrees Celsius. In general, the islands increase in size from east to west such that over 83% of the region's land mass is situated in Papua New Guinea, and most of the rest is in the other Melanesian countries and territories.