Technical report

Environmental sustainability of oil palm cultivation in Papua New Guinea

Date released
07 October 2010
Publication Code

Paul N. Nelson, Michael J. Webb, Ian Orrell, Harm van Rees, Murom Banabas, Suzanne Berthelsen, Marcus Sheaves, Felix Bakani, Otto Pukam, Michael Hoare, William Griffiths, Graham King, Peter Carberry, Rachel Pipai, Ann McNeill, Petra Meekers, Simon Lord, James Butler, Tony Pattison, John Armour and Charles Dewhurst


The oil palm industry in Papua New Guinea is small by international standards, but very important for the country, underpinning the economies of the provinces where it is mostly grown (West New Gritain, Oro, Milne Bay and New Ireland). An estimated 200,000 people live in households that depend on oil palm as their principal source of income. It is vital for the future livelihoods of these people, and for others living in surrounding areas, that the crop is grown in a way that maintains the ecological integrity of the land and surrounding ecosystems. This study identifies the main issues relating to environmental sustainability of oil palm cultivation in PNG, with particular reference to smallholder farms.