There is virtually no freehold title; the few existing freeholds are automatically converted to state lease when they are transferred between vendor and purchaser. Unalienated land is owned under customary title by traditional landowners. The precise nature of the seisin varies from one culture to another. Many writers portray land as in the communal ownership of traditional clans; however, closer studies usually show that the smallest portions of land whose ownership cannot be further divided are held by the individual heads of extended families and their descendants or their descendants alone if they have recently died.
This is a matter of vital importance because a problem of economic development is identifying the membership of customary landowning groups and the owners. Disputes between mining and forestry companies and landowner groups often devolve on the issue of whether the companies entered into contractual relations for the use of land with the true owners. Customary property—usually land—cannot be devised by will.
It can only be inherited according to the custom of the deceased's people. The Land Group Incorporation Act requires more specific identification of the customary landowners than hitherto and their more specific authorisation before any land arrangements are determined; a major issue in recent years has been a land grab, using, or rather misusing, the Lease-Leaseback provision under the Land Act, notably using 'Special Agricultural and Business Leases' SABLs to acquire vast tracts of customary land, purportedly for agricultural projects, but in an almost all cases as a back-door mechanism for securing tropical forest resources for logging—circumventing the more exacting requirements of the Forest Act, for securing Timber Permits which must comply with sustainability requirements and be competitively secured, and with the customary landowners approval.
Following a national outcry, these SABLs have been subject to a Commission of Inquiry, established in mid, for which the report is still awaited for initial presentation to the Prime Minister and Parliament. Papua New Guinea is one of the most heterogeneous nations in the world. The other indigenous peoples are Austronesians , their ancestors having arrived in the region less than four thousand years ago. There are also numerous people from other parts of the world now resident, including Chinese ,  Europeans, Australians, Indonesians, Filipinos, Polynesians, and Micronesians the last four belonging to the Austronesian family.
The geography and economy of Papua New Guinea are the main factors behind the low percentage. Papua New Guinea has an urbanisation rate of 2. According to Statista , here are the urban population percentages in Papua New Guinea from to The most widely spoken indigenous language is Enga , with about , speakers, followed by Melpa and Huli. The primary lingua franca of the country is Tok Pisin commonly known in English as New Guinean Pidgin or Melanesian Pidgin , in which much of the debate in Parliament is conducted, many information campaigns and advertisements are presented, and until recently a national newspaper, Wantok , was published.
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The only area where Tok Pisin is not prevalent is the southern region of Papua , where people often use the third official language, Hiri Motu. Although it lies in the Papua region, Port Moresby has a highly diverse population which primarily uses Tok Pisin, and to a lesser extent English, with Motu spoken as the indigenous language in outlying villages. With an average of only 7, speakers per language, Papua New Guinea has a greater density of languages than any other nation on earth except Vanuatu.
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Citizen population in Papua New Guinea by religion, based on the census . The government and judiciary uphold the constitutional right to freedom of speech, thought, and belief, and no legislation to curb those rights has been adopted. The census found that Virtually no respondent identified as having nonreligious. Religious syncretism is high, with many citizens combining their Christian faith with some traditional indigenous religious practices. There are approximately 2, Muslims in the country.
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The majority belong to the Sunni group, while a small number are Ahmadi. Non-traditional Christian churches and non-Christian religious groups are active throughout the country. Traditional religions are often animist. Some also tend to have elements of veneration of the dead , though generalisation is suspect given the extreme heterogeneity of Melanesian societies. Prevalent among traditional tribes is the belief in masalai , or evil spirits, which are blamed for "poisoning" people, causing calamity and death, and the practice of puripuri sorcery.
It is estimated that more than a thousand cultural groups exist in Papua New Guinea. Because of this diversity, many styles of cultural expression have emerged. Each group has created its own expressive forms in art, dance, weaponry, costumes, singing, music, architecture and much more. Most of these cultural groups have their own language. People typically live in villages that rely on subsistence farming. In some areas people hunt and collect wild plants such as yam roots and karuka to supplement their diets. Those who become skilled at hunting, farming and fishing earn a great deal of respect.
On the Sepik river, there is a tradition of wood carving , often in the form of plants or animals, representing ancestor spirits. Seashells are no longer the currency of Papua New Guinea, as they were in some regions—sea shells were abolished as currency in This tradition is still present in local customs. In some cultures, to get a bride, a groom must bring a certain number of golden-edged clam shells  as a bride price. In other regions, the bride price is paid in lengths of shell money , pigs, cassowaries or cash.
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Elsewhere, it is brides who traditionally pay a dowry. People of the highlands engage in colourful local rituals that are called "sing sings". They paint themselves and dress up with feathers , pearls and animal skins to represent birds, trees or mountain spirits. Sometimes an important event, such as a legendary battle, is enacted at such a musical festival. The country, however, has no elements inscribed yet in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists , despite having one of the widest array of intangible cultural heritage elements in the world. Sport is an important part of Papua New Guinean culture and rugby league is by far the most popular sport.
Many Papua New Guineans have become instant celebrities by representing their country or playing in an overseas professional league. Even Australian rugby league players who have played in the annual State of Origin series , which is celebrated feverishly every year in PNG, are among the most well-known people throughout the nation. State of Origin is a highlight of the year for most Papua New Guineans, although the support is so passionate that many people have died over the years in violent clashes supporting their team.
Although not as popular, Australian rules football is more significant in another way, as the national team is ranked second, only after Australia. Other major sports which have a part in the Papua New Guinea sporting landscape are association football , rugby union , basketball and, in eastern Papua, cricket. The capital city, Port Moresby, hosted the Pacific Games in A large proportion of the population is illiterate ,  with women predominating in this area. The four other universities which were once colleges were established recently after gaining government recognition.
Papua New Guinea's National Vision was adopted in This has led to the establishment of the Research, Science and Technology Council. At its gathering in November , the Council re-emphasised the need to focus on sustainable development through science and technology. Vision 's medium-term priorities are: . Nine out of ten scientific publications from Papua New Guinea focused on immunology, genetics, biotechnology and microbiology.
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Nine out of ten were also co-authored by scientists from other countries, mainly Australia, the United States of America, United Kingdom, Spain and Switzerland. Forestry is an important economic resource for Papua New Guinea but the industry uses low and semi-intensive technological inputs. As a result, product ranges are limited to sawed timber, veneer, plywood, block board, moulding, poles and posts and wood chips. Only a few limited finished products are exported. Lack of automated machinery, coupled with inadequately trained local technical personnel, are some of the obstacles to introducing automated machinery and design.
Policy-makers need to turn their attention to eliminating these barriers, in order for forestry to make a more efficient and sustainable contribution to national economic development. In Papua New Guinea, renewable energy sources represent two-thirds of the total electricity supply. Since its inception in , the programme has developed a master's programme in renewable energy management at the University of Papua New Guinea and helped to establish a Centre of Renewable Energy at the same university.
The programme resulted from the signing of an agreement in February between the European Union and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Transport in Papua New Guinea is heavily limited by the country's mountainous terrain. Airplanes made it possible to open up the country during its early colonial period.
Even today the two largest cities, Port Moresby and Lae , are only directly connected by planes. Port Moresby is not linked by road to any of the other major towns, and many remote villages can only be reached by light aircraft or on foot. In addition to two international airfields, Papua New Guinea has airstrips, most of which are unpaved. This article incorporates text from a free content work.
Main article: History of Papua New Guinea. Main article: Politics of Papua New Guinea. This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. October Main article: Law of Papua New Guinea. Main article: Human rights in Papua New Guinea. See also: Sexual violence in Papua New Guinea. Main article: Geography of Papua New Guinea. Map of Papua New Guinea. Main article: Environmental issues in Papua New Guinea. Main article: Papua New Guinea earthquake.
Main article: Economy of Papua New Guinea. Main article: Demographics of Papua New Guinea. Largest cities and towns in Papua New Guinea www. Main article: Languages of Papua New Guinea. Main article: Health in Papua New Guinea. Main article: Religion in Papua New Guinea. Seventh-day Adventist Pentecostal Evangelical Alliance Papua New Guinea 5. Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea 3. Baptist 2.