Papua New Guinea


Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea
9° 25' 59.988" S, 147° 13' 1.2" E
Capital City: 
Port Moresby
English, Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu
Category: Land
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Agricultural land (1000 Ha) 1,005 1,010 1,000 1,005 1,020 1,030 1,040 1,040 1,110 FAO
Forest area (sq km) 301,325 299,934 298,543 297,152 295,761 294,370 292,979 291,588 World Bank
Forest area (% of land area) 66.54000000000001 66.23 65.92 65.62 65.31 65 64.7 64.39 World Bank
Category: Tourism
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
International tourism receipts (% of total exports) 7 5 3 4 6 4 Development Data Group, The World Bank. 2008. 2008 World Development Indicators Online. Washington, DC: The World Bank. Available at:
Category: Demographics
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Country population 5,387,610 5,530,340 5,674,700 5,820,700 5,968,520 6,118,200 6,269,640 6,422,570 6,576,820 6,732,160 World Bank
Population annual growth 2.65441 2.61469 2.57675 2.54041 2.50773 2.47701 2.44504 2.41004 2.37327 2.33442 World Bank
Maternal mortality ratio (modeled estimate, per 100,000 live births) 290 270 250 World Bank
Category: Social
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Seats held by women in national parliament, percentage 1.8 1.8 1.8 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above) 57.34 59.6 World Bank
Category: Indices
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
HDI - Human Development Index 0.408 0.408 0.415 0.421 0.426 0.431 UNDP International Human Development Indicators - Calculated based on data from UNDESA (2009d), Barro and Lee (2010), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (2010b), World Bank (2010b) and IMF(2010a).
Category: Economy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
GNI per capita, PPP (current international $) 1,620 1,580 1,570 1,530 1,610 1,720 1,690 2,060 2,190 2,260 World Bank
ODA received as % of GNI 8.33 7.16 7.42 7.04 7.54 5.86 5.64 5.78 4.12 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)
Workers remittances (current US$) 7,000,000 6,000,000 11,000,000 13,000,000 15,700,000 13,315,000 13,315,000 13,315,000 13,315,000 UN Data
Category: Energy
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Electric power consumption (kWh) World Bank
Combustible renewables and waste (metric tons of oil equivalent) World Bank
Fossil fuel energy consumption (% of total) World Bank
Category: Climate Change and Sea-level Rise
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), thousand metric tons of CO2 (CDIAC) 2,688 3,231 3,513 3,968 4,481 4,613 4,620 3,366 MDG Database (CDIAC Data)
Category: Freshwater
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Improved water source (% of population with access) 39 41 40 World Bank
Category: Biodiversity
Indicator 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Source
Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected 1.37 1.37 1.37 1.37 1.37 1.37 1.37 1.37 1.37 1.37 UN Stats (MDGs indicators)

Climate Change

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has submitted its First National Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC. In 2007, PNG established a Climate Change Working Team.

The natural environments of the country have developed a capacity over the years to adjust to human activity and changes to the climate. However, in the past few decades the rapidly changing climate patterns, increasing population growth and intensity and increased use of natural ecosystems have affected the ability of these systems to respond to such change. PNG has already been buffeted by extreme weather and climate events such as those brought about by El Niño in 1997-98, and further changes in temperatures and sea level rise are predicted over the next 100 years. These events will lead to sea water inundation of low lying inland and coastal areas, including the atoll islands, coral bleaching and loss of coastal defences. Loss of wetlands, changes to the fisheries, forestry and agriculture sectors, alteration in water resources and land use practices and impacts on health, particularly vector borne diseases such as malaria other related water and air borne diseases, are also expected as consequences of climate change and sea level rise.

Papua New Guinea First National Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC

Natural and Environmental Disasters

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a National Disaster Management Act and a National Emergency Plan. In 2003, PNG established a National Disaster Awareness and Preparedness Committee.

PNG is particularly prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, cyclones, landslides, droughts, and river and coastal flooding. The highlands, with 2.2 million people living in thousands of small villages, are subject to weather extremes of heavy rainfall and drought. Increasingly, landslides are occurring from population pressures and uncontrolled land use. The coastal areas and coral atolls are low-lying, and nearly 500,000 people in 2,000 coastal villages are vulnerable to weather extremes and seawater inundation. PNG experiences 2 to 3 national-level activations (and numerous smaller local activations) for disaster events per year, and in the past 15 years there have been seven events of significance including flooding, volcanic eruption, tsunami, landslide, and drought. On average, tropical cyclones hit the country at a rate of about one cyclone per year.

Reducing the Risk of Disasters and Climate Variability in the Pacific Islands: Papua New Guinea Country Assessment
Papua New Guinea First National Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC

Waste Management

Papua new Guinea's (PNG's) waste management issues are addressed in the National Water Supply and Sewerage (NWSS) Act, the Public Health Act and the Environmental Contaminants Act.

Similar to many other developing countries, PNG is facing problems with managing its waste in striving for economic prosperity and political stability. This includes municipal solid waste as well as hazardous and infectious waste. Large sections of urban society suffer from service inadequacies in waste managment and unsanitary conditions, with the poor suffering disproportionately more. Water supply and sewerage systems cover about 43 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of the total urban population of PNG. Where sewerage systems exist, they serve mostly the developed sections of towns. Urban households not connected to a sewerage system, especially in small towns, commonly use septic tanks, pit latrines, waterways, and the surrounding brush as sanitation facilities. This situation causes serious health risks. In PNG, the health and environmental risks from the poor management of health care waste are high and need immediate attention. The lack of management of health care waste in PNG is reaching an alarming level. Furthermore, open dumping of waste on land without adequate control, as occurs in Port Moresby, can result in serious public health and safety problems and severe adverse environmental impacts.

Papua new Guinea Provincial Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project
Overview of the Management of Health Care Waste in the WHO's Western Pacific Region
Solid Waste Characterisation Study and Management Plan for PNG

Coastal and Marine Resources

The Department of Environment and Conservation-administered Environment Act 2000 provides for the regulation of environmental impacts on coastal and marine resources resulting from development, environmental protection, and national water resources management.

Papua New Guinea (PNG) supports a plethora of coastal habitats, resources and environments including deltaic flood plains, estuaries, tidal flats, mangroves, beaches near shore environments such as bays, lagoons, sea grass beds, coral reefs, and offshore environments. Of particular regional significance are the extensive and well-developed mangrove systems. In PNG there some 37 species of mangroves belonging to 20 different genera, which are associated with the major river systems throughout the country. Coral reefs in PNG cover a total area of 40,000 square kilometers. For the most part, coral reefs are relatively unaffected by human activities, but this largely reflects the country’s dispersed and relatively isolated population as well as a lack of material development. The fisheries resources of PNG are made up of a wide variety of lagoons, reefs, deep slopes, pelagics, and bottom species. Formal employment in the fisheries sector amounts to just 1,000 people. The export earnings from fishery products amount to about 1% of all total exports. While fishing is widespread, much of it is used for local consumption. There are approximately 4,000 part time artisinal fishermen. However, with no proper storage or readily available transport networks, the immediate prospects for expanding the artisinal fishing sector are limited. The majority of marine-based fisheries are located on the coast and in offshore waters, while inland fisheries are mainly based on aquaculture and capture fisheries, utilising simpler gear to fish along rivers, lakes and oxbow lakes.

Papua New Guinea First National Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC

Freshwater Resources

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a Water Resources Act.

More than 200 low-lying islands and coral atolls throughout PNG support small human settlements. These communities rely on ground water lenses for their supply of fresh water, both for human consumption and for gardening. These lenses are likely to be affected by salt-water intrusion because of rising sea levels and leakage during storm surges, thus causing a shortage of fresh water. Since fresh water fish diversity is relatively  poor, the Fisheries Authority has been prompted to embark on a programme for introducing and restocking certain fresh water bodies with exotic species to enhance stocks.

Land Resources

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a Physical Planning Act administered by the Department of Lands for managing its land resources.

Almost 97% of land in PNG is customary land, owned either by individuals or under some form of clan ownership. Some six million hectares are used in the rotational gardening cycle. Of the country’s total land area, approximately 470,000 square kilometers, or about 58%, is subject to strong or severe erosion. A further 18% is permanently inundated or regularly flooded. Up to 200,000 hectares are cleared annually for traditional agriculture. Agriculture is the mainstay of the PNG economy, accounting for approximately 30% of GDP and around 13% of total export earnings. Land currently set aside for food and cash crop production in the country accounts for about 30% of the country’s total land area. Land suitability for tree crops, arable agriculture, pastures and irrigated rice amounts to 6.6% of PNG's total land area. Forest reserves cover over 36 million hectares, or approximately 70% of the country’s total land area. Commercial logging for exports is fairly widespread throughout all regions. Approximately 15 million hectares of the forests are accessible, with one million hectares already logged. Forestry operations can threaten the livelihoods of rural residents through loss of well-developed road systems, causing soil erosion, contamination of water supplies and loss of non-timber resources. There are also associated social problems that have emerged, despite agreements between loggers and landowners, which typically require the loggers to pay royalties to landowners and build infrastructure such as roads, schools and rural health clinics.

Papua New Guinea First National Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC

Energy Resources

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has National Energy Policy Guidelines, an Electricity Supply Act and a Electricity Industry Act.

Since independence, there has been little progress in the development of any real capacity in the energy sector to plan and systemically develop a stable supply of energy for the country. PNG is currently heavily dependent on fossil fuels, with petroleum products accounting for an estimated 60% of its primary energy consumption. Renewable energy, primarily hydroelectricity, is estimated to contribute less than 40% of the country's energy use. Fossil fuels are primarily used for power generation and transportation. It is estimated that electricity comprises only 24% of total energy use in PNG. Interestingly, 46 % of this electricity is used in the capital city of Port Moresby. Annual consumption of electrical energy has rapidly increased over the years, mainly due to an increase in the number of customers from industrial to household sectors and an increase in average consumption per customer.

Papua New Guinea First National Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC
PNG National Energy Assessment Report


Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a National Government Tourism Policy and a Tourism Master Plan (2007-2017).

The tourism industry is poorly developed even though the country offers spectacular diving sites, rainforest, ecotourism opportunities, scenery, wildlife, and a diversity of cultures. PNGs’ share of the South Pacific regional market is very small, at only 5 percent of total arrivals, and less than 2 percent of the holiday market. This indicates the low level of development of PNG's tourism sector compared to other neighbouring countries, as well as the importance of the business travel market to PNG. Currently the tourism industry in PNG is underpinned by the business travel market, which accounts for almost 70 percent of all visitors and provides the major market for many hotels, as well as the international and domestic airlines. In 2005, PNG received close to 70,000 overseas visitors, of which 26 percent (approximately 18,000 visitors) were holiday travellers, while the remaining 74 percent represented the business traveller segment. Tourism tends to be concentrated in urban centers, although ecotourism ventures have been set up in the more remote and isolated rural areas.

Papua New Guinea First National Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC
PNG Tourism Sector Review and Master Plan


Papua New Guinea (PNG) has submitted its Fourth National Report on Biodiversity to the CBD, and has a National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan, an Environment Sustainable Economic Growth (ESEG) policy and an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) with an explicit mandate of pursuing conservation of the country's natural resources.

The environments and biota of PNG are extremely rich, diverse and unique. It is estimated that the country probably harbours between 5 - 7% of the worlds’ biodiversity, which is remarkable given that the land mass of Papua New Guinea accounts for less than 1% of the worlds’ total land area. This ranks PNG as the fourth most mega-biodiverse country in the world. The island is large enough to host more than 6,789 endemic species of plants and animals, the most of any Pacific island. To date, about 300 species of coral and well over 3,000 species of marine fishes have been identified. The total number of plant and animal species inhabiting Papua New Guinea is not accurately known, but almost certainly exceeds 200,000 species. Scientists estimate that more than half the plants and animals found in Papua New Guinea have yet to be scientifically named. Protecting biodiversity is a critical national priority as it is linked to the local livelihoods of millions of people living in rural areas of the country. Sustainable use of biodiversity therefore has both ecological and economic value.

Papua New Guinea First National Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC
PNG Fourth National Report on Biodiversity to the CBD
Country Strategies: 
Title Programme Name Programme Description Year
Disaster management Strategy - Papua New Guinea Reducing the Risk of Disasters and Climate Variability in the Pacific Islands: Papua New Guinea Country Assessment 2009
Energy Strategy - Papua New Guinea Pacific Regional Energy Assessment: Papua New Guinea National Report 2004
UNFCCC Nat Comm - Papua New Guinea Initial national communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Strategy Description 2002
NBSAP - Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea's Fourth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity Strategy Description 2010
NSDS - Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea National Assessment Report 2006
Bill | 15 Jul 2013
12 July 2013: The Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) adopted the Nadi Draft Outcome Document, which will represent the Pacific region's contribution to the Inter-regional Preparatory Meeting for the 2014 Conference. The meeting, held in Nadi, Fiji, from 10-12 July 2013, was the second of three regional meetings in preparation for the Conference, which will take place in Apia, Samoa, in September 2014....
Bill | 12 Jul 2013
Highlights for Thursday, 11 July 2013 While Member States met in closed sessions on Thursday morning, ambassadors Robert Aisi, Papua New Guinea, Sofia Borges, Timor-Leste, and Marlene Moses, Nauru, briefed others on progress made in Wednesday afternoon’s closed deliberations, which they said had dealt primarily with climate change. Shun-ichi Murata, UNESCAP, chaired the open discussion and circulated a table of priorities from the regional synthesis report on national assessments. The...
Bill | 27 Aug 2012
PREPARED BY OHRLLS   SUMMARY The 2012 Third World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), saw 36 representatives and heads of state from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) take to the floor during the Plenary Session to deliver statements on a range of issues of importance and relevance to them. Of the 36 SIDS representatives, 10 were Heads of State while 10 were Heads of Government making up 26% of the 77 Heads of State and Heads of Government who addressed the Plenary...
External Resources: 

Coming soon.

National focal point for sustainable development: 
Department of National Planning and Rural Development
National Planning Office