A group of islands in the south-western Pacific and the eastern part of New Guinea, the world's second-largest island, combine to form the independent state of Papua New Guinea (PNG). From World War 1 to 1975, when it attained sovereignty, Papua New Guinea was under Australian governorship.
The country is a hub of cultural diversity. For instance, it has over 850 languages. A significant proportion, about 85%, of its eight million citizens live in rural setups. A self-sufficient lifestyle based on subsistence farming has been adopted as a way of life by close to 40% of the population. PNG is believed to have many uncontacted natives and unknown animal and plant species.