Papua New Guinea, officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands (the western portion of the island is a part of the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua).
It is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in a region defined since the early 19th century as Melanesia.
It is one of the most diverse countries on Earth, with over 850 indigenous languages representing twelve percent of the world's total and at least as many traditional societies, out of a population of just under 6 million.
It is also one of the most rural, with only 18 per cent of its people living in urban centres.
The country is one of the world's least explored, culturally and geographically, and many undiscovered species of plants and animals are thought to exist in the interior of Papua New Guinea.