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Tropical Rainforest Exploitation and Use

Papua New Guinea

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See the Case Study Revision notes

Papua New Guinea is a very poor country located to the East of Indonesia and north of Australia.  It has a lush rainforest that has over species of mammals, birds and lush rainforest fauna.  The people of the country are poor, and there are people per doctor and the GNP is only

There are crude oil reserves in the forests, gold deposits, other mineral sources, potential for Hydro electric Power and agriculture.  This area has been exploited (used and damaged), conserved (protected) and sustainably developed (used but with a consideration of minimising damage to the environment.

In Sissano Lagoon, there was deforestation of the forest so that oil palm could be planted.  Oil palm is useful as it produces palm oil which can be used in food and industry.  The deforestation caused soil erosion, and this sediment was washed into the nearby lagoon, choking the coral reef and denying the coral plants sunlight.


In Kikori basin, Chevron, a Trans national Oil company drilled for oil and extracted that oil.  The impact of these activities is huge as pipelines, roads, and other infrastructure have to be put into place. Chevron did try to invest money into some sustainable development projects, including helping local tribes people harvest butterflies, make tapa cloth and harvest more farm products from the forest. The PNG sustainable development company also promote sustainable development in the region.

Conservation has also been attempted. Greenpeace have been very active in this.


1) Try the Satellite Interpretation exercise for the Amazon basin

2) Describe the climate of the area in which the rainforest is in, using the graph below.


3) Conduct some internet research into the following groups to complete the table below

Maisan Tribes people
PNG government
Concord Pacific
What they use the forest for

4) What should happen to the rainforest of PNG? Why?

5) Try this satellite interpretation exercise

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Extra resources;

Excellent site on rainforests and their exploitation
Bytesize background to rainforests
Bytesize Rainforest Exploitation
Earth Observations of Tropical rainforests


See some images of PNG Tropical Rainforest Destruction in PNG - take some notes to add to your Case study from class.