Boardroom briefing: protecting Papua New Guinea’s environment, rugby role model and the future of online shopping


Protecting Papua New Guinea’s natural resources, kicking local leadership goals and Uniqlo still loves bricks and mortar. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

If you protect it, they will come

Credit: PNG Tourism Authority via Facebook

With the tourism sector hit hard, and travel being a key plank for any economic recovery, Papua New Guinea would do well to take care of its natural wonders.

PNG has seen a marked improvement when it comes to managing the environment according to SDG Knowledge Hub, which looked at what is being done to save precious natural resources.

An initial 2017 assessment found that management of protected areas was ‘very low’ but there has been marked improvement in the past three years, though more could be done.

‘These efforts might not be enough for PNG to reach Aichi Target 11 to have 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas protected by the end of 2020,’ the report says. ‘Currently, there is a 9.86 per cent shortfall for coastal and marine areas and a 13.04 per cent shortfall for terrestrial and inland waters. The PNG Policy on Protected Areas states that: “over thousands of years, communities all over PNG have been conserving nature for cultural and spiritual reasons, while pursuing traditional livelihoods in these landscapes and seascapes.”’

Kicking rugby goals for PNG

Justin Olam. Credit: NRL Photos

Twenty-six-year-old Justin Olam is the country’s newest leadership role model after his winning ways in the NRL grand final at the weekend. Olam, who comes from the Highlands village of Gon and has a physics degree, was watched by crowds all over PNG on the weekend since it is the only country that has rugby league as its national sport.

ABC News spoke to coach Michael Malum about what it was that made Olam such a natural leader. He said it was not just his on-field skills. ‘Justin is a role model because he balances everything right and he’s got the respect … when he puts on the jersey, he’s proud of where he comes from, and that’s one thing that gets everyone behind him,’ he said.

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He made PNG proud last weekend.

Cometh the hour, cometh the clothing brand

Some manufacturers were made for COVID living and Japan’s Uniqlo, with its comfy work-from-home aesthetic – and face masks before they were compulsory – is one such maker.

Speaking to Nikkei Asia, Uniqlo chief Tadashi Yanai said his brand had been very successful where other retailers have floundered. In June, Japan same-store sales, including e-commerce, grew by 26 per cent year-on-year. But Yanai says he still believes in physical stores, despite the bruising experience of this year. ‘E-commerce is a virtual world, which is an imitation of the real world,’ Yanai told Nikkei Asia. ‘There is nothing that tops the original. Physical stores that serve customers well would still grow.’

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