New Guinea Collapse

By Abigail Deery and George Garrett

Over the years, New Guinea has recently come very close to a collapse due to problems related to environment, health, and political/economic turmoil.


In Papua New Guinea, there is a widespread health concern, for mothers and children are getting hugely affected. The infant mortality rate is extremely high. For example, the number of infants dying before reaching the age of 1 is 69 per 1,000 live births a year. The leading causes of these deaths are things which can be easily prevented, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malnutrition, but New Guinea doesn't have the updated medicine to treat it. There are also more serious, less easily treatable diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis that are really affecting the greater population. These can all be prevented with vaccines. Also, the maternal mortality rates are additionally extremely high, for because of the falling economy they cannot afford the technology to healthily deliver a baby. The main cause of maternal death is obstetric hemorrhage, which is a problem relating to a huge amount of blood loss during child birth. In 2010, the maternal mortality rate for Papua New Guinea was 250 per 100,00 births. With this widespread health concern, health is another factor to the collapse of Papua New Guinea.

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As a country, New Guinea is highly reliant on agriculture. The people of Papua New Guinea have many uses for trees, such as timber for houses and fences, wood for tools, fuel for cooking, and heating for huts. Areas such as Wahgi Valley in Papua New Guinea and Baliem Valley of Indonesian New Guinea, which are extremely high in population, are devastatingly deforested because of gardening. Not only is New Guinea deforested, but charcoal from fires has caused greats amount of pollution in the air, along with an increase in pollen in non-forest trees. These issues both lead to respiratory problems. Additionally, New Guinea lies on a dangerous tectonic plate. This has led to many eruptions and tsunamis in the past, and keeps an ongoing fear of falls for the future. In 1888, the Ritter Island Volcano fell into the sea north of New Guinea. This collapse was the largest lateral collapse of a volcano ever, causing tsunami waves tens of meters high crashing onto the shores of Papua New Guinea. It caused damage throughout the whole country, and parts of this island have been collapsing ever since. Ongoing tsunami tides and collapses have been going on ever since, creating permanent damage, damage that New Guinea can't afford to fully recover from. Therefore, New Guinea's deforestation and volcanic issues are a great factor in the collapse of Papua New Guinea.
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Papua New Guinea is one of the poorest countries when you are looking at the natural resources that it holds. New Guinea being one of the smallest countries in the world makes most of its money through exporting Oil, gold, copper, logs, palm oil, coffee,crayfish and prawns. But even though this seems like they are exporting many things in the long run this will not support the country as a whole from an economic perspective. In 2013 the over all GDP (gross domestic product) was at about 19.96 billion. Even though that is expected to grow about 4.5% per year that does not mean a lot for the countries growth because they are spending more money then they can afford to. New Guinea is spending about 37 million dollars each year that they don't have, this means that they are going deeper into debt with Australia who is currently lending them money. Because of this New Guinea is essentially digging them self into a hole that will be impossible for them to get them self out of it is very possible that within the next 10 -20 years that the New Guinean Economic system will collapse causing a very large domino effect on every aspect of the country.
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