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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Miss Earth

Miss Earth is an annual international beauty pageant promoting environmental awareness. Along with Miss Universe and Miss World contests, Miss Earth is one of the three largest beauty pageants in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions to participate in the world finals. The reigning titleholders dedicate their year to promote environmental projects and to address issues concerning the environment.
In 2006, the Miss Earth pageant started to cohost the United Nations Environment Programme's Champions of the Earth, an annual international environment awards established in 2005 by the United Nations to recognize outstanding environmental achievers and leaders at a policy level.


Carousel Productions organized and launched the first Miss Earth beauty pageant in 2001. It is intended to actively promote the preservation of the environment.
Those who participate in the pageant are involved with environmental causes. The pageant winner is expected to become involved with international environmental projects. These projects are also promoted during the pageant's broadcast. The delegates also take part in tree planting ceremonies, environmental and cultural immersion programs, sponsor visits and tours.
In 2003, Miss Earth adopted the slogan "Beauties For a Cause".In 2004, the Miss Earth Foundation was created to further the pageant's environmental cause and to work with the local and international groups and non-governmental organizations that are actively involved in conservation and improvement of the environment. The Miss Earth Foundation campaign focuses in educating the youth in environmental awareness. Its major project “I Love Planet Earth School Tour," teaches and distributes educational aides for school children.
The Miss Earth pageant has grown over the years, with an increasing number of countries participating each year. The number of national Miss Earth pageants has grown on every continent as well.
In 2006, the host country Chile failed to meet the requirements of the host committee; the pageant was moved back to the Philippines.
Since it began the pageant has been held annually in the Philippines, either October or November, and televised nationwide via ABS-CBN with international delayed telecasts in more than 80 countries via STAR TV and The Filipino Channel.
The Miss Earth winner is the spokesperson for the Miss Earth Foundation, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other environmental organizations.

Eco-fashion design competition

On November 4, 2008, the first Miss Earth Eco-Fashion Design Competition was launched by the Miss Earth Foundation as an annual event for professional and non-professional fashion designers to come up with designs that are eco-friendly. The outfit designs are made from recyclable, natural materials, organic materials, and eco-chic designs or patterns that can be worn in everyday life or are runway worthy.


Miss Earth gained the attention of worldwide press in 2003 after Vida Samadzai, an Afghan woman, now residing in the United States, competed in a red bikini.Samadzai was the first Afghan woman to compete in an international beauty pageant in almost three decades, but the fact that she wore a bikini caused an uproar in her native country.
Miss Earth also made headlines in 2005 when a Pakistani beauty queen, Naomi Zaman, a Miss Pakistan World winner participated for the first time. She is the first delegate from Pakistan to compete in any major international pageants. Beauty pageants are frowned-upon in Pakistan.
Likewise, Miss Earth Tibet 2006, Tsering Chungtak, the first Tibetan who represented Tibet in any major international beauty pageants made headlines. Aside from her environmental cause, she raised international attention regarding the Tibetan struggle for freedom. She also advocated for the boundaries of acceptable social etiquette towards modernity, in a traditionally conservative Tibetan culture, where most grown women wear ankle-length dresses. Nevertheless, her participation in the pageant received an approval from the Dalai Lama.She made more headlines in December 2007, when she withdrew her participation in the Miss Tourism contest, a minor international beauty pageant held in Malaysia, after organizers reacted to pressure from Beijing and asked her to add "China" to her "Miss Tibet" title by wearing a sash labeled "Miss Tibet-China".
In 2007, Carousel Productions licensed the Miss Cuba organization to select the first Cuban representative to Miss Earth. Ariana Barouk won and became the first Miss Cuba in several decades and competed at the Miss Earth Pageant in which she drew in global publicity.Also in 2007, Miss Earth made history when delegates from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Tibet competed altogether for the first time in any international pageant notwithstanding its international conflict.
In 2008, the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan, one of the world's most isolated nations,sent its first Miss Bhutan, Tsokye Tsomo Karchun.Rwanda also sent its first ever Miss Rwanda national winner, Cynthia Akazuba following a month after Rwanda became the first country in history to elect a national legislature in which a majority of members were women in September 2008,[39] both of them competed at the Miss Earth 2008 pageant.


The pageant has been held in the Philippines every year since 2001. Miss Earth 2006 was scheduled to be held in Santiago, Chile on November 15, but organizational problems forced the pageant to move back to the Philippines.
The 8th Miss Earth pageant finale was held for the first time outside the Metropolitan Manila at the Clark Expo Amphitheater in Angeles City, Pampanga on November 9, 2008. Prior to the finals night, the candidates were toured to various destinations in the Philippines. Twenty-two year-old Karla Henry of the host country beat 84 other candidates.

Pageant system

Since the Miss Earth pageant has an environmental cause, it is primarily looking for young women who will stand for the protection and preservation of the planet. These women are pageant winners or chosen by national Miss Earth directors from different nations.
On national level competitions, the Miss Earth's cause is carried out to assure that each of the participating candidates are not just physically beautiful, but environmentally knowledgeable. As soon as the national winners are chosen, they will be subject to evaluation by the pageant organizer.
During the pre-finals weeks, the candidates are evaluated on each activity and event they have. Preliminary swimsuit and evening gown competitions also take place. In the pre-judging session, the delegates face the panel of judges for an interview in their simplest look (without make-up), where they speak of their environmental platform and personal thoughts.
As soon as the preliminary activities and interview are completed, the judges and the executive staff will select sixteen candidates who will comprise the group of semi-finalists.

During the live finals, the sixteen (16) semi-finalists will be announced. All previous scores will be disregarded and thereafter compete in the swimsuit round. The top eight (8) scorers in swimsuit will move on the next level of competition. The final eight (8) portion will have interview and evening gown competition components. The scores from these two (2) events will be averaged and the four (4) highest scorers will continue with the last competition - the final interview.
In the final interview, all four finalists will answer one environmental question, the candidates will be assessed based on the judges over-all impression on the candidate to determine the final ranking.

If in case the Miss Earth winner can no longer fulfill her duties and obligations as titleholder, the 1st runner-up will be the one who will take-over the title.

Titles and semi-finalists

In the early years of the pageant, from 2001 to 2003, ten (10) semi-finalists were chosen at Miss Earth. From 2004 and onwards, sixteen (16) semi-finalists are chosen. Semi-finalists are cut to eight (8) finalists, then to the final four (4) from which the runners-up and winner are announced.

The winner of the pageant is bestowed the title Miss Earth; her runners-up are also given titles named after the other natural elements: Miss Fire (equivalent to third runner-up), Miss Water (second runner-up), and Miss Air (first runner-up). Miss Earth is the only one of the "Big Four" pageants which have individual titles for the runners-up.

Crown and jewelry

New crown

In the 9th edition of the pageant, Miss Earth will unveil a new crown, which will be worn by the winner of Miss Earth 2009 with the preservation of the planet Earth as its primary consideration. The crown was designed by an environmentalist jewelry designer, Ramona Haar, the official jeweller of the Miss Earth pageant.

The new crown is made of 100% recycled precious metals comprising of 14kt gold and argentums sterling silver. What sets the Miss Earth crown apart is the fact that the gemstones used both precious stone and semiprecious stone were donations from over 80 different participating countries. These are gemstones that each country is known for either as the origin or source. The gemstones were sent in various forms: faceted, cabochons, beads or rough. The designer travelled to Jaipur, India to have these gemstones individually trimmed and faceted to the required cut and sizes.

The flower in the center of the crown represents Mother Earth, as inspired by the statement of an American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson's "The earth laughs in flowers." The recurring spiral motif has always been associated with "maternal power" and "feminine prestige" which is the essence of Miss Earth. The gentle curves in the crown symbolize "unity" and the "spirit of cooperation."

Old crown

The Miss Earth crown used in 2001 and the swarovski crown in 2002-2008 were designed and created by a multi-awarded Filipino designer named Arnel Papa. The crown's frame from 2002-2008 was made up of sterling silver while clear swarovski and pearls composed the embellishments. Red and blue swarovski pearls were additional ornaments.


Starting 2008, Miss Earth winners are bestowed with a special set of jewelry designed and created by Ramona Haar Fine Jewelry, a Florida-based jeweller. The jewelry for Miss Earth winner is amounting to US$ 25,000, while Miss Earth-Fire, Miss Earth-Water, and Miss Earth-Air are amounting to US$ 10,000 each set. The designs symbolize the categories that each winner represents:

* Miss Earth necklace and earrings set has a floral and butterfly motif made of 14 karat yellow and white gold. The colored gemstones used are multishaped peridot, amethyst, blue topaz, rhodolite, citrine, multicolor tourmaline, and diamonds. Colored stones total weight is 56 carat and diamonds is 3.0ctw. total weight of gold is 96.6 grams. Necklace length is 17 inches and 3 inches extension chain.

* Miss Earth Air necklace and earrings set has billowy feathers as its motif. It is made of 14 karat yellow and white gold. It is decorated with colored gemstones and diamonds. The colored gemstones used are yellow and golden citrine with a total weight of 31.0 carats. The diamond total weight is 1.0 ctw. 14k gold total weight is 65 grams. The necklace is 17 inches long with additional 3 inches of extension chain.

* Miss Earth Water necklace and earrings set has graceful waves and fish as its motif. It is made of 14 karat yellow and white gold. It is decorated with colored gemstones and diamonds. The colored gemstones used are blue topaz and blue sapphire with a total weight of 63.0 carats. The diamond total weight is 2.0 ctw. 14k gold total weight is 78 grams. The necklace is 17 inches long with additional 3 inches of extension chain.

* Miss Earth Fire necklace and earrings set has a fireworks motif as its center pendant. It is made of 14 karat yellow and white gold. It is decorated with colored gemstones, diamonds and intricate texturing. The colored gemstones used are rhodolite, citrine, and Malaysian jade with a total weight of 27.50 carats. The diamond total weight is 3.5 ctw. 14 karat gold total weight is 87.8 grams. The necklace is 17 inches long with additional 3 inches of extension chain.

The four winners also receive a medallion necklace as part of their prizes. These medallions stand for the four elements that the winners represent. The designs for the medallions are different each year and will feature endangered species of Mother Earth's flora and fauna.

Special awards

* Venezuela is the most successful in Swimsuit awards: Alexandra Braun in 2005, Marianne Puglia in 2006 and Silvana Santaella in 2007.

* Venezuela is also the most successful in Long Gown awards: Silvana Santaella in 2007 and Daniela Torrealba in 2008.

* The Philippines has the most Miss Photogenic awards: April Rose Perez in 2002, Jeanne Angeles Harn in 2007, and Karla Henry in 2008.

* There are 2 countries have won twice Best National Costume awards:
o Korea: Jin-Ah Lee in 2002 and Hie Mi Yoo in 2005 .
o Panama: Jessica Barrios in 2003 and Shassia Ubillus in 2008.

* Bosnia & Herzegovina has two Miss Talent awards: Džejla Glavović in 2002 and Mirela Bulbulija in 2004.

* Only one Miss Friendship has gone on place in the pageant: Amale Al Khoder (Lebanon, 2007).

* Only one Miss Earth winner was awarded Miss Talent: Džejla Glavović (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2002).

* Two Miss Earth winners were awarded Miss Photogenic: Priscilla Meirelles (Brazil, 2004) and Karla Paula Henry (Philippines, 2008)

* Miss Venezuela 2007, Silvana Santaella won 4 awards: Best in Long Gown, Best in Swimsuit, Miss Psalmstre Placenta and Gandang Ricky Reyes Award.

* Miss Philippines 2008, Karla Henry won five special major and minor awards: Miss Earth Designers Award, Miss Photogenic, Eagle Express Award, Miss Fontana, Pasigandahan Awards (for Manila). Currently, she's the only winner who received the most awards in the history of Miss Earth Beauty Pageant.


* Miss Earth 2001, Catharina Svensson of Denmark is the first Caucasian winner of the pageant.

* Miss Earth 2002, Džejla Glavović is the first woman from Bosnia & Herzegovina to win a major beauty title for her country. She is also the first Miss Earth to be dethroned, for failing to fulfill her duties.

* Miss Earth 2002, Winfred Omwakwe of Kenya became the first African and black winner of the pageant after the original winner from Bosnia & Herzegovina was dethroned.

* Miss Earth 2003, Dania Prince of Honduras is the first Central American and Latin to capture the Miss Earth crown.

* Miss Earth 2004 Priscilla Meirelles is the first Miss Earth Winner to host the Miss Earth Competition in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

* Miss Earth 2008, Karla Henry of the Philippines is the first Asian to win the Miss Earth crown.

* Miss Afghanistan 2003 Vida Samadzai was the first candidate of Miss Earth to win the special award Beauty for a Cause. She helped in establishing a US-based women's charity that seeks to raise awareness of women's rights and education in Afghanistan. Miss South Africa, Montjane was the second candidate to win the special award.

* In 2007 edition, two (2) countries hosted the pageant. Vietnam co-hosted some of the pageant activities; other activities up to the finals were done in its home base, the Philippines.

* In the history, only one woman has competed at all four major international pageants. She is Cynthia Kanema of Zambia who competed at Miss World 2003, Miss International 2004, Miss Universe 2005, and Miss Earth 2005. She was unplaced at all four pageants.

* Denmark won its first major beauty title in history when Catharina Svensson won Miss Earth in 2001.

* Bosnia & Herzegovina won its first major beauty title in history when Džejla Glavović won Miss Earth in 2002.

* Kenya also claimed its first major title when Winfred Omwakwe assumed the position of Miss Earth 2002.

* When Priscilla Meirelles won the title in 2004, Brazil became the first country to have a winner in all four major international pageants. The following year, Alexandra Braun completed the grand slam for Venezuela.
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