• Dave Harmon, PW editor

Papua New Guinea | Plan to almost double country's roads by 2022 threatens PAs, study says

Papua New Guinea hopes to nearly double the length of its road network by 2022, posing grave threats to more than 50 parks and biodiversity-rich areas, according to a new analysis.

The country, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and a smattering of islands in the South Pacific, is home to a vast bank of tropical rainforest that covers some 328,000 square kilometers (127,000 square miles) — an area about half the size of Texas. These forests seethe with species found nowhere else on Earth, such as the hedgehog-like eastern long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bartoni) and several species of tree kangaroos — along with massive amounts of carbon locked in the lush vegetation and soil.

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