Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

William Ascher

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Rights Information

2022 Timothy J Askew


This thesis examines multiple approaches to providing rural, indigenous Papuans with improved social services and economic opportunities. Rural Papuans, who make up 80 percent of the population, face below average rates of nutrition, education, disease, crime, and other quality of life indicators. Due to location, land use rights, lack of infrastructure, and minimal access to economic markets, the PNG government has struggled to provide rural communities with basic social services. Historically, the development of resource extraction projects such as mining, logging, and agriculture have been the main strategies used to improve the livelihood of rural Papuans, with limited success. This thesis conducts an analysis of these resource extraction sectors, providing strategic and legislative recommendations to the PNG government on how to improve these projects. Additionally, this thesis outlines sustainable alternatives to resource extraction projects and potential pathways to their expansion.