In Chapter 6 "Snapshots: nation by nation" the first snapshot is of PNG.
Population growth takes place within nations and therefore over-population is primarily a national problem. Below are a series of snapshots of ways in which some nations are dealing, or not dealing, with their population-related problems.
Papua New Guinea: From about 660 000 people at the start of the twentieth century, PNG now has 6 million, and expects over 7 million by 2025. The capital, Port Moresby, sucks in population and is dominated by squatter settlements. 'Raskol' gangs roam the streets, raping and stealing with impunity. Guards and barbed wire protect houses. Back in 2003 the Treasurer, Bart Philemon called Port Moresby 'the dump of every city in PNG'. Outside the capital, it is often worse. In much of the southern highlands the government has lost control, teachers and officials have fled, and services have been withdrawn. Without doctors and nurses, deaths in childbirth have risen almost to what they are in a state of nature.
I will write a broader review of this book (which I don't agree with), but this contrast was too stark to ignore. What happened in between the start of the twentieth century and the chaos that the authors describe currently? Recently a glimpse of that history was afforded by my interview with John Tully about his book, a social history of rubber. Here's an excerpt, discussing Australia's colonial role in PNG's history:
What we did there was quite horrific, not just in the rubber plantations but in the mines. We basically disrupted the indigenous culture to an enormous degree, I don’t think it’s ever recovered from that – we displaced whole populations, we depopulated villages. Up until the early 1960s when the United Nations told us that the Australian government had to do something about it, we had an enormous battery of legislation or regulation which I think fully warrants the title of apartheid.
While the contrast between these two viewpoints is not explicit, it is still obvious.