Papua New Guinea - geography
In New Guinea there is to the south lowlands that are drained by the Fly
River and other rivers. Geologically and landscape-wise, the lowlands are a
continuation of the Australian Plate. Further north is a central highland, which
at its widest point includes parallel mountain ranges and fertile valleys, and
which to the east merges into the hard-to-reach mountain range Owen Stanley
Range. The highest mountain is Mt. Wilhelm and Bismarck Range (4509 m). North
of the central highlands there is a burial depression, which is drained by the
rivers Sepik, Ramu and Markham, and on the north coast mountains with heights
of up to approximately 4000 m. In the sea off the north coast of New Guinea, the
Solomon Plate dives (subduction), while forming a deep-sea tomb. The
dive is accompanied by strong volcanic activity on New
Britain and Bougainville. Immediately north of New Guinea, peaks of active
volcanoes form a strip of islands, and east of the main island are some islands,
which geologically are partly a continuation of the mountains of New Guinea,
partly coral islands.
Papua New Guinea is located just south of the equator, and except in the
mountains, the climate is tropical everywhere. Frost can occur from approximately 2100
m altitude. It rains all year round, but the amount of precipitation varies with
the location in relation to the NW monsoon and the SE trade route. At Port
Moresby, the SE trade wind blows from June to October parallel to the coast,
and during these months there is dry season. The natural plant growth here is
tropical savannah with eucalyptus trees, whereas the large lowland areas
with year-round rainfall are overgrown with tropical rainforest. From 900 m
until approximately 3700 m there are mountain forests.
Wildlife is varied with many endemic species. Since New Guinea until for
approximately 10,000 years ago was part of the Australian Continent, there are great
similarities between the wildlife of the two countries (wooden kangaroos,
anteaters, etc.); the country is especially known for its colorful paradise bird
species. The insects are represented by extremely large species, including
the world's largest butterfly with a wingspan of 28 cm.
In most of the country, the soil is heavily leached and thus acidic and
barren. However, the central highlands, the island of Bougainville and
the Gazelle Peninsula in New Britain have fertile volcanic soils where coconut,
cocoa and oil palms are grown.
Population and occupation
The population grows by approximately 2.3% per year. The population is very
unevenly distributed. Areas of volcanic rocks are densely populated, while there
is a small population density in mountainous areas with heavily leached soils
and in the swampy lowland areas. Not less than 85% of its population, but many
people move to Lae and especially to the capital Port Moresby, which now houses
nearly 1/2 million. residents, of which approximately 40% in
Do you know how many people there are in Papua New
Guinea? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about
The population consists of numerous ethnic groups, which can be explained by
the difficult terrain, where peoples for millennia have lived in isolation in
mountain valleys or swamp forests, while their mutual contact has been
predominantly of a hostile nature. Ritual cannibalism in PREVIOUS people
have in the 1990's attracted special attention, as research in the local Kuru disease
led to discoveries about the cattle disease BSE and other prion diseases.
The number of foreigners has never been large; in 1997 there were
approximately 24,000, including many Australians.
Agriculture employs approximately 75% of the population and contributes
27% of GDP; only 1% of the area is cultivated. Crops vary with natural
conditions, and tropical tuberous plants (sweet
potatoes, yams, cassava, etc.) and bananas are the main food crops. In the
highlands, sweet potatoes are the dominant crop. Frost damage and drought in the
highlands can cause the harvest to fail, and the population's supply of food
becomes in the worst cases so critical that emergency supplies become
necessary. In swampy lowland areas, sago is from wild-growing sago palmsremains
an important staple food. Until 1950, copra and rubber were largely the only
crops exported, but in the lowlands people have now switched to growing crops
such as cocoa and oil palms, while in the highlands they focus on coffee, tea
and pyrethrum (for the production of insecticides).).
The fishery is of great importance to the local coastal population,
but there is also significant commercial fishing for tuna in the waters around
New Britain, and in Papua Bay fishing for barramundi, shrimp and lobster.
Forestry. Over 70% of Papua New Guinea is covered by forest, and
the demand for tropical woods has increased logging. However, as a large part of
the rainforest is remote, there will also be a lot of rainforest in the country
in the future. The largest felling takes place in New Britain, where the
rainforest is threatened in many places. With EU support, projects have now been
started that make it possible for a village's residents to acquire transportable
sawmills so that they can make better use of the forest's products.
Mining. In the 1920's, gold was found at Bulolo in the central
highlands. The gold washing took place on large floating barges, the individual
parts of which had been flown there. Later, copper ore and gold were mined in
large open pit mines at Panguna on the island of Bougainville and at Ok Tedi and
Porgera in the Central Highlands. In several places, mining takes place in
conflict with the local communities, both in terms of ownership of the land and
due to pollution from the companies. In the 1990's, oil began to be extracted in
the lowlands of the Fly River. Contrary to expectations, however, no new
profitable oil fields were found, and in 1996-2001 oil production fell by half.
The industry is of limited scope and especially linked to the
products of agriculture and forestry as well as mining. The rest of the
industrial production is aimed at the domestic market, but is hampered by the
relatively modest purchasing power of the population. In total, the industry
only contributes approximately 9% of GDP. The production of consumer goods for the
domestic market takes place mainly in Lae and Port Moresby.
Trade. Products from mining make up approximately 3/4 of
the export; in addition, timber, coffee, copra and palm oil. The main
trading partners are Australia and Japan.
Hard-to-reach mountains and lowlands with many rivers make it difficult and
expensive to build roads, and the country has no railways. In 1967, the
construction of the Highland Highway between the port city of Lae and Mt. The
garden in the central highlands. No road has yet been built from the north to
the south coast of the country, so almost all passenger traffic between the
capital Port Moresby and the rest of the country must take place by plane.