Located in the Pacific Ocean, this tropical island nation is made up of the eastern part of New Guinea (Indonesia), along with many smaller islands including Bougainville and the Bismarck Archipelago.
Papua New Guinea is situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire – an area of the world where earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis are common. About 90% of all earthquakes occur in this area!
The landscape of Papua New Guinea is one of imposing mountains, dense rainforests and extensive wetlands, and some areas of the country can only be reached by foot or plane.
Many communities in the remote mountain areas maintain a traditional culture and have little contact with the outside world. The isolation created by the rugged terrain is so great that some groups, until recently, were unaware of neighbouring tribes only a few kilometres away!
Papua New Guinea joined the Commonwealth in 1975 and was admitted to membership in the United Nations the same year.