Collapse of Papua New Guinea

By Dillon Kaynor and Sea Bass Mauleon

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea had thrived for about 50,000 years until the suffering later began. They faced troubles like natural disasters, negative foreign influence and invasions, economic instability, corruption, and violence.


One of the reason of the collapse was the invaders that came into Papua New Guinea. It first started with the Europeans with the Dutch that took over the western half, Germans annexing the northern coast, and Britain taking the southern parts. This could have caused problems because these countries could have manipulated them and taking over them making them their workers by force. Also, some of them had enemies which could cause tension and create destruction in New Guinea. One example are the Japanese in WWI when they invaded New Guinea and they were liberated by the Australians. However, they had helped out a lot for New Guinea so it decreased their economy. Also, when the Bougainville Revolutionary Army shut down the island’s Australian-owned copper mine which was a major source of revenue in the country. Another reason why Papua New Guinea is near in collapse is because of their economic and political instability. According to the World Bank, 70% of the country lives in poverty. Their very major source of revenue was shut down by the Bougainville Revolution Army (as I said before). The country's political system is unstable, the crime rate has soared, corruption is rampant, and essential services including health care and education continue to decline. In 2006, Australia announced that it was gravely concerned about the country and had peacekeeping forces ready. One final reason could be the natural hazards that occur in Papua New Guinea. New Guinea is one of the most environmentally diverse places on the planet. It supports more than ten kinds of ecosystems and has the most dramatic topography in Oceana. This variety in environment results in a variety of intense natural disasters. For example, in July of 1998 three tsunamis hammered the north-west part of the island destroying villages and killing 3000 people. This can be juxtaposed with with cyclone Guba, killing 163 people and leaving 13,000 displaced. However, this is not the worse. A weather phenomenon known as El Nino, translating to “The boy” in spanish, occurs at irregular intervals of two to seven years. El Nino is a belt of warm air spanning across the equator, warming ocean temperatures. This rise in temperatures is key for the formation of major storms. In September 1997, New Guinea declared a state of emergency after an El Nino which produced a storm that killed 1000 people and put 1.2 million at risk of starvation. The power and frequency of these storms proves how vulnerable New Guinea is to natural disasters. New Guinea is also being heavily impacted recently by global warming. In November of 2000, all 1000 members of the New Guinean island, Duke of York, were forced to be relocated due to the recent rise in sea levels. It is clear that New Guinea is one of the most disaster prone nations in the world.


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