PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Date of establishment: September 16, 1975

Brief history:

  • Pre-colonial period: Papua New Guinea was inhabited by indigenous people hundreds of years before the arrival of European explorers.
  • 16th century: The first Europeans, including Portuguese and Spanish navigators, began to visit the coast of Papua New Guinea.
  • 19th century: During this time, Papua New Guinea became the target of several European colonial powers, including Great Britain, Germany, and Australia. German New Guinea and British New Guinea were established as colonies.
  • World War I: During World War I, Australian troops occupied German New Guinea.
  • Interwar period: After the war, part of German New Guinea was ceded to Australia under a League of Nations mandate, while the British part remained an independent British colony.
  • World War II: Papua New Guinea was one of the key battlegrounds in the Pacific campaign of World War II, with the Battle of the Kokoda Track and the Battle of the Bismarck Sea as important events.
  • 1945: Australian administration of Papua New Guinea was restored after World War II.
  • 1960: The national independence movement began to gain momentum.
  • 1975: Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia.
  • After Independence: A period of political change and social development followed the acquisition of sovereignty. The country established a democratic system of government and developed its economy.

 

International abbreviation: PNG

 

Currency: Papua New Guinea kina (PGK)

A kina is divided into smaller units called toea, where 1 kina is equal to 100 toea.

The Papua New Guinean kina is the only valid currency in Papua New Guinea and must therefore be used for all purchases, payments, and banking transactions within the country.

 

Internet domain: .pg

 

Dialing code: +675

 

Time zone: GMT +10 to +11

 

Geography:

The most important mountain range in the country is the Central Range, which runs through the center of the country. The peaks of these mountains reach a height of over 4 000 meters (13 123 feet) above sea level.

The country has an extensive river network such as the Sepik, Fly, and other rivers. The Sepik is the longest river in the country and is surrounded by rainforest. The country is also home to several beautiful lakes such as Lake Kutubu.

Much of the country is covered in dense tropical rainforests, which are home to rich biodiversity.

The extensive coastal areas include beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and islands.

Papua New Guinea consists of many islands, the largest and most important being New Guinea (which is also the second largest island in the world) and Bougainville Island. In total, Papua New Guinea has more than 600 islands.

 

Highest peak: Mount Wilhelm 4 509 m (14 793 feet) above sea level.

This peak is located in the central part of the country, in the Central Mountains.

Mount Wilhelm is not only the highest mountain in Papua New Guinea, but also the highest peak in the entire Pacific and Australasia.

 

Climate:

Temperatures in the country are relatively high throughout the year. Average temperatures range between 25°C (77°F) and 32°C (90°F). Temperatures are milder on the coasts, while lower inland, especially at higher altitudes.

The country has high humidity for most of the year, which is typical of a tropical climate.

There are two main seasons – dry and rainy. The dry season usually lasts from June to September, when there is less rainfall. The rainy season lasts from November to April, when there are regular heavy rains. Papua New Guinea is prone to tropical storms that can cause widespread flooding and earthquakes.

 

Fauna and flora:

Papua New Guinea is known for its rich bird population, including many species of ostriches, parrots, and cassowaries.

The country is home to many endemic species, meaning they are only found in this area. These include, for example, dendrobates, marsupial mammals, and many species of fish.

Cassowaries are large, flightless birds that are characteristic of this country.

The state also has a diverse population of snakes and reptiles, including crocodiles, coral snakes, geckos, and lizards.

Vast tropical rainforests are home to many rare species of plants and trees. The forests include mahogany trees, palms, and many species of orchids.

Palm oil is important for the economy, it is used in the food and cosmetic industries.

Many traditional tribes use local plants for medicinal purposes.

 

Agriculture:

Subsistence agriculture predominates in most rural areas, meaning that people grow crops and raise livestock primarily for their own use and the survival of their families. The main crops are rice, cassava, sweet potatoes, taro, sweet potatoes, and bananas. In addition, coffee, rubber, and oilseeds are also grown here.

The country is known for producing high-quality coffee. Coffee is often grown on small family farms at higher elevations.

Rubber cultivation is another important branch of agriculture.

Livestock, especially pigs and poultry, is a common feature of agriculture.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Papua New Guinea is one of the main gold producers in the Pacific region. The main mining areas are Porgera and Lihir.

It also has significant copper reserves. The Ok Tedi mine is one of the main mining projects focused on this mining.

In addition to gold and copper, silver is also mined.

The country has potential for oil and natural gas extraction; industries that are beginning to play an increasingly important role in the economy. The LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) project is one of the most important projects in the field of natural gas extraction.

Dolomite is mined mainly on the island of New Britain and is used as a raw material for the production of lime and cement.

 

Industry:

The food industry includes the production of food products, beverages, and local specialties.

The construction industry plays a key role in the development of a country’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges, ports, and airports.

Fishing includes both traditional fishing methods and modern fishing technologies. The export of seafood such as tuna and shellfish is an important source of income.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: sea and air transport

 

Natural and historical attractions: Tavurvur Volcano, Varirata National Park, Tami Islands, Sepik River, Rainforests, Beaches, Port Moresby, and the Trobriand Archipelago

The mountain landscape is ideal for tourists who enjoy trekking. Mount Wilhelm, the country’s highest mountain, is a popular trekking spot. Tourists can also follow the Kokoda Track, a historic route from the Second World War.

The country hosts various festivals and events that celebrate local culture and traditions. The most famous of these is the Goroka Show, which presents traditional dances, music, and artistic expressions of various tribes.

 

Form of government: constitutional monarchy

The formal head is the governor-general, who represents the British Monarchy, and is appointed by the Monarch on the recommendation of the Papuan Parliament.

The real executive power belongs to the prime minister, who is the head of the government and is elected by the people’s representatives in parliamentary elections. The parliament of Papua New Guinea, is unicameral and consists of 111 members. An independent judiciary and court system includes local, provincial, and national courts.

 

Capital city: Port Moresby

It is located on the southwest coast of the island of New Guinea, in the southern part of the country. Port Moresby is the largest city of Papua New Guinea and at the same time the main economic and political center of the country.

 

Area: 462 840 km2 (178 704 square miles)

 

Population: 9 000 000 (2022)

Papuan groups are considered indigenous. This includes various tribes such as Dani, Huli, Enga, and others. Each tribe has its own language and culture. Highlanders inhabit the mountainous regions of the Central Mountains. The Sepik group inhabit the area around the Sepik River and are known for their artistic and craft traditions, particularly sculpture and carving.

Papua New Guinea is known for its linguistic diversity. The inhabitants speak more than 800 different languages, making it one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. English is the official language. Most of the inhabitants practice traditional indigenous religions, but also Christianity.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 1

 

1. Kuk Archaeological Agricultural Area (2008) – This area contains the remains of ancient agricultural systems such as terraced fields, canals, and irrigation systems that were built thousands             of years ago.

 

National parks: 8

 

  1. Jimi (Ruti) Valley National Park
  2. Loroko National Park
  3. Mc Adam National Park
  4. National Park Mt. Susu
  5. Mt Wilhelm National Park
  6. Paga Hill National Park
  7. Varirata National Park
  8. Talele Island National Park