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The Melanesian environment : [papers presented at and arising from the ninth Waigani Seminar, Port Moresby, 2-8 May 1975]

CollectionsANU Pacific Institute
ANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: The Melanesian environment : [papers presented at and arising from the ninth Waigani Seminar, Port Moresby, 2-8 May 1975]
Author(s): Waigani Seminar
Winslow, John Hathaway
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
Expatriate and multinational businessmen and companies have, over the last hundred years, drastically changed the environments of some of the islands of Melanesia. In some, like Fiji and parts of New Caledonia, the changes have taken place over a long period of foreign exploitation. In others, like the island of New Guinea, large-scale forestry, mining, hydroelectric, agricultural and fishing projects are more recent. In both, poorly planned and insensitive {u2018}development{u2019} has destroyed or is threatening to destroy the people{u2019}s economic, spiritual and aesthetic relationship with the land and, indeed, the land itself. The seminar from which this book was born was held in Papua New Guinea in 1975, its year of independence. The only other independent nation in the Melanesian region is Fiji. While Fiji tends the wounds caused to its environment by foreign business, Papua New Guinea warily plans for an expanded economic base that does not jeopardise the subsistence base of the majority of the people. They and their Melanesian neighbours will avoid such destruction partly by heeding the experiences of one another and of other third world countries. This book records some of those experiences, ranging from situations in which the subsistence economy has been destroyed to make profit to take out of the country to others in which the people have successfully defended their subsistence way of life against such exploitation.


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