The Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea: Conflicts ignored




Haley, Nicole

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Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group


This chapter focuses on a little known but increasingly important confl ict in the Asia-Pacifi c region: the endemic confl ict in the Southern Highlands Province (SHP) of Papua New Guinea (PNG). The province is set to be home to Exxon Mobil�s multi-billion dollar PNG Liquefi ed Natural Gas (LNG) project, the sheer scale of which dwarfs every other resource project in PNG and which is predicted to more than double PNG�s GDP. Commentators have regularly noted that resource-related confl icts are common in parts of the Western Pacifi c, and in particular PNG�s highland provinces. Many observers have suggested that confl ict in the region is and has always been about �pigs, land and women� (Banks 2008; Goldman 2003) and the relative scarcity of such supplies. Such confl ict is often referred to as �tribal�. In the contemporary context, there is indeed considerable intergroup confl ict over different materials, particularly minerals, oil and gas, and the revenues these generate. Certainly resource confl ict is part of the Southern Highlands story, as there are several large-scale resource-extraction projects in the province. But it is only part of the story. The recent history of violence in the province is so complex it defi es simple categorization and explanation.






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Diminishing Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific: Why some subside and others don't

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