Miss Earth

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Miss Earth
MottoBeauties for a cause
FormationApril 3, 2001; 19 years ago (2001-04-03)[1]
TypeBeauty pageant
Official language
Ramon Monzon
Key people
Lorraine Schuck
WebsiteMiss Earth official website

Miss Earth is an annual international environmental-themed beauty pageant competition promoting environmental awareness, conservation and social responsibility.[2][3][4] The contest is the third largest beauty pageant in the world in terms of the number of national-level competitions to participate in the world finals.[5][6][7][8] Along with Miss World, Miss Universe, and Miss International, the competition is one of the Big Four international beauty pageants — the most coveted beauty titles among all the international pageant competitions.[9]

The reigning titleholders dedicate their year to promote specific projects and often address issues concerning the environment and other global challenges[10][11] through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.[12][13][14]

The Miss Earth winner is the spokesperson for the Miss Earth Foundation, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other environmental organizations.[15][16][17] The Miss Earth Foundation also works with the environmental departments and ministries of participating countries, various private sectors and corporations, as well as the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).[18][19][20]

The current Miss Earth is Nellys Pimentel of Puerto Rico who was crowned on October 26, 2019.



Carousel Productions launched the first edition of Miss Earth in 2001 as an international environmental event with the mission of channeling the beauty pageant entertainment industry as an effective tool to promote the environmental preservation.[21][22][23] The pageant was first formally introduced in a press conference on April 3, 2001.[1]

The pageant has tie-ins with Philippine government agencies, such as the Philippine Department of Tourism (DoT), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), as well as international environmental groups such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Greenpeace, to further its environmental advocacy.[24][25][26] The pageant winner and her elemental court travel to various countries and involved in projects with the environmental departments and ministries of participating countries.[27][28] The delegates also take part in tree planting ceremonies, environmental and cultural immersion programs, sponsor visits and tours.[23][26][29]

In October 2001, Miss Earth adopted the slogan "Beauties For a Cause",[25] but it was in 2003 that the first "beauty for a cause" prize was awarded.[30][31] In 2004, the Miss Earth Foundation was created to further the pageant's causes and to work with 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 on educating young people in environmental awareness.[32] Its major project, “I Love Planet Earth School Tour", teaches and distributes educational aids for school children.[32][33][34] The Miss Earth Foundation also educates people to act against environmental degradation by following the 5Rs: rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle, and respect.[35][36]

The Miss Earth pageant has grown over the years, with more countries participating each year.[32] The number of national Miss Earth pageants has grown on every continent as well.[37] In 2003, it became the third biggest international beauty pageant, surpassing the number of candidates of Miss International.[38]

In 2006 the Miss Earth pageant started to co-host the United Nations Environment Programme's Champions of the Earth, annual international environment awards established in 2005 by the United Nations to recognize outstanding environmental achievers and leaders at a policy level.[39][40][41] Miss Earth also joined with Greenpeace to call for a ban on genetically-engineered food crops, promotion of organic farming and advancement of sustainable agriculture.[42]

The Miss Earth Foundation teamed up with The Climate Reality Project in 2016 for the "Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training" conducted by its founder and chairman, former US Vice President, Al Gore to create an effective platform awareness on climate change.[43][44]

Since it began, the pageant has mostly been held in the Philippines, either in October or November, and since 2002, televised nationwide via ABS-CBN (except in 2018 when GMA Network broadcast the pageant) and Studio 23 (until it was shut down in 2014) with international delayed telecasts in more than 80 countries via Star World (now Fox Life and The Filipino Channel.[45][46][47]

Eco-fashion design competition[edit]

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.[48][49]


The pageant has attracted delegates from countries and territories that typically frown upon beauty pageants.[21]

In 2003, Vida Samadzai, an Afghan woman, now residing in the United States, received press attention after she competed in a red bikini.[50][51] 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.[52][53]

In 2005, a Pakistani beauty queen, Naomi Zaman, was the first Miss Pakistan World winner to participate in Miss Earth, and is the first delegate from Pakistan to compete in any major international pageant. Beauty pageants are frowned upon in Pakistan.[54][55][56]

Miss Tibet Earth 2006, Tsering Chungtak, the first Tibetan to represent Tibet in any major international beauty pageant, made headlines when she drew international attention towards the Tibetan struggle for freedom. She also advocated for the boundaries of acceptable social etiquette towards modernity[clarification needed], in a traditionally conservative Tibetan culture, where most grown women wear ankle-length dresses. Nevertheless, her participation in the pageant received approval from the Dalai Lama.[57][58][59][60]

Carousel Productions licensed the Miss Cuba organization in 2007 to select the first Cuban representative at Miss Earth. Ariana Barouk won; she became the first Miss Cuba in several decades, and competed at the Miss Earth Pageant.[61][62] Also in 2007 pageant, Miss Earth made history when delegates from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Tibet all competed together for the first time in an international pageant in spite of political sensitivities.[45]

In 2008, the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan, one of the world's most isolated nations,[63] sent its first Miss Bhutan, Tsokye Tsomo Karchun.[64][65] Rwanda also sent its first ever Miss Rwanda national winner, Cynthia Akazuba;[66] both of them competed at the Miss Earth 2008 pageant.[67]

In 2009, Beauties of Africa, Inc., the franchise holder of Miss Earth South Sudan sent Aheu Kidum Deng, Miss South Sudan 2009, who stands 196 cm (6 feet and 5 inches), and is the tallest documented beauty queen ever to take part in any international beauty pageants.[68][69]

Palestine debuted in one of the Big Four pageants in 2016 via Miss Earth when Nathalie Rantissi represented Palestine with the approval of Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the State of Palestine and Palestinian National Authority, where she made a courtesy call at the Moukata Palace prior to her departure to participate in the pageant.[70][71] However, Miss Palestine refused to wear a bikini in the grand final of Miss Earth 2016.[72]

Also in the 2016 edition of the pageant, Miss Iraq Organization sent Susan Amer Sulaimani as Iraq's first representative since 1972 in Big Four pageants to participate in Miss Earth 2016.[73][74] However she was the only one who wore a dress instead of a bikini during the pageant's press-conference.[73]

In the 2017 pageant, Miss Rwanda Honorine Hirwa Uwase appeared in the swimsuit competition wearing a gown, maintaining a long-held Rwanda tradition of not wearing bikinis in public.[75][76]

Miss Lebanon 2018 Salwa Akar received international press attention when she was stripped of her title in Lebanon, while participating in Miss Earth 2018 pageant after she posted a photo in Facebook with her arm around Miss Israel's Dana Zerik and making peace signs.[77][78] Lebanon and Israel are in a long standing state of war.[79] As a result, she was unable to continue her participation in the Miss Earth pageant.[80] In a press release, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Ofir Gendelman, reacted on Akar’s dethronement and condemned the "Lebanese apartheid."[81][82]


Vinpearl Resort of Vietnam, the first venue outside Philippines in 2010.

The pageant was held in the Philippines every year from 2001 to 2009.[37] Miss Earth 2006 was scheduled to be held in Santiago, Chile on November 15, 2006 but the host country failed to meet the requirements of the host committee; the pageant was moved back to the Philippines.[83][84][85]

In 2008, the pageant was held for the first time outside Metropolitan Manila.[86][87] It was held at the Clark Expo Amphitheater in Angeles, Pampanga on November 9, 2008.[88][89]

In 2009, the pageant took place for the first time outside Luzon Island. The coronation night venue for Miss Earth 2009 was held at the Boracay Ecovillage Resort and Convention Center in the Island of Boracay, Philippines.[90][91]

In 2010, the pageant finally took place for the first time outside the Philippines. The coronation night venue for Miss Earth 2010 was held at the Vinpearl Land Amphitheater at Nha Trang, Vietnam.[92][93][94]

In 2011, the pageant was scheduled to be held on December 3, 2011 at the Impact, Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, Thailand but due to flood situation in Thailand, Carousel Productions decided to move the Miss Earth 2011 pageant venue to Manila, Philippines.[95][96]

In 2012, the pageant was supposed to be held in Bali, Indonesia but the organizers did not meet the minimum requirements on time, so it was moved back to the Philippines.[97][98][99][100] Miss Earth 2012 was held on November 24, 2012 at the Palace in Muntinlupa City, Philippines.[101][102][103][104]

In 2015, the pageant was held for the first time in Europe at Marx Halle in Vienna, Austria.[105][106][107]

Host countries and venues[edit]

Edition Year Date Venue[37] Host country
1st 2001 October 28 University of the Philippines Theater, Quezon City, Metro Manila Philippines
2nd 2002 October 29 Folk Arts Theater, Pasay City, Metro Manila
3rd 2003 November 9 University of the Philippines Theater, Quezon City, Metro Manila
4th 2004 October 24
5th 2005 October 23
6th 2006 November 26 Museum of the Filipino People, City of Manila, Metro Manila
7th 2007 November 11 University of the Philippines Theater, Quezon City, Metro Manila
8th 2008 November 9 Clark Expo Amphitheater, Angeles, Pampanga
9th 2009 November 22 Boracay Convention Center, Boracay, Aklan
10th 2010 December 4 Vinpearl Land Amphitheater, Nha Trang Vietnam
11th 2011 December 3 University of the Philippines Theater, Quezon City, Metro Manila[108] Philippines
12th 2012 November 24 Versailles Palace, Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
13th 2013 December 7
14th 2014 November 29 University of the Philippines Theater, Quezon City, Metro Manila
15th 2015 December 5 Marx Halle, Vienna Austria
16th 2016 October 29 Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Metro Manila Philippines
17th 2017 November 4
18th 2018 November 3
19th 2019 October 26 Cove Manila at Okada Manila, Parañaque, Metro Manila
20th 2020 November 29 Virtual Pageant Virtual Pageant

Judging criteria[edit]

In the pre-judging, the Miss Earth delegates are judged with their intelligence and their knowledge on environmental issues and policies comprising 30% of the total score while the remaining criteria are as follows: 35% for beauty, 20% form and figure, 10% poise, and 5% attitude.[109]

Titles and semi-finalists[edit]

In the early years of the pageant, from 2001 to 2003, ten semi-finalists were chosen at Miss Earth. From 2004 to 2017, sixteen semi-finalists are chosen with the exception of the 2010 (10th) edition where only 14 semi-finalists were selected. The number has since then increased to 18 in 2018 and 20 in 2019.[110] Since 2004, Semi-finalists are cut to eight (8) finalists, then to the final four from which the runners-up and winner are announced. By 2019, the number of finalists were increased to ten (10).[45]

The pageant's winner is crowned Miss Earth; the runner-ups are named after Classical elements: Miss Fire (third runner-up), Miss Water (second runner-up), and Miss Air (first runner-up),[45] however, starting 2010 the runners up or the “elemental titles” (Air, Water, and Fire) are of equal importance and thus have the same ranking.[111][112][113]

Recent titleholders[edit]

Year Country Miss Earth National title Number of entrants
2019  Puerto Rico Nellys Pimentel Miss Earth Puerto Rico 85
2018  Vietnam Nguyễn Phương Khánh Miss Earth Vietnam 87
2017  Philippines Karen Ibasco Miss Philippines Earth 85
2016  Ecuador Katherine Espín Miss Earth Ecuador 83
2015  Philippines Angelia Ong Miss Philippines Earth 86

Gallery of Miss Earth[edit]

Crown and jewelry[edit]

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.[114]

On November 16, 2009, Miss Earth unveiled a new crown designed by jewelry designer Ramona Haar with the frame made of 100% recycled 14K gold and argentums sterling silver and the stones composed of black diamonds, sardonyx, calcite, ruby, jade quartz crystal, garnet, peridot, and pearls gathered from over 80 of the participating countries in 2009.[115][116][116] In the 13th edition of the Miss Earth, new tiaras were introduced for the elemental titleholders called elemental crowns which represent air, water and fire with colorful stones in yellow, blue and red.[117]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]