TRANSFERRING massive mining industry profits into improving the health, education and wellbeing of a struggling population is a key challenge for Papua New Guinea, says the author of a new United Nations report.
Glenn Banks (pictured), an associate professor in Development Studies in Massey University’s School of People, Environment and Planning, was lead author of the Papua New Guinea National Human Development Report 2014: From Wealth to Wellbeing: Translating Resource Revenue into Sustainable Human Development, for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
In it, he identifies the “paradox of plenty” and the “resource curse” as a features of the PNG economy, which is leading the world in economic growth rates with predictions it will increase by 20% next year. Meanwhile, nearly half the population is living at or below a ‘basic needs’ poverty line.
The report reviews the state of human development in Papua New Guinea in terms of the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. It examines the ways in which the extractive industries have contributed – positively and negatively – to these related but distinct pillars.