Miss Earth, the environment-themed beauty pageant, comes to Thailand later this year, marking only the second time in its decade-long history that it’s been held outside the Philippines, the country of its birth.
Last year, Vietnam won the bid to host the pageant created in 2001 by Carousel Productions to promote environmental awareness.
“Miss Earth is much more than just a beauty pageant, it’s also an international environmental campaign,” says Wanthanabhadee Jittanukroh, the CEO of the organisers PD Creation, in an interview after the press conference for Miss Earth 2011 at the Kirimaya Resort in Khao Yai, Nakhon Ratchasima.
“We fought hard against China to win the chance to hold the 10th edition of Miss Earth. I think Carousel chose us on the basis of the several activities we have planned to support the contest. These activities will take place in four regions of Thailand: the North, South, the north-east and in Pattaya, each of which shows different aspects of Thailand’s environment to the world.
“At first, we worried about the support of the government, especially given the current political situation. But this project is concerned with environmental protection. It’s also an international event that will include a tribute to His Majesty the King on the occasion of his
84th birthday anniversary. We usually organise an activity, ‘Khon Thai Jai Phakdi’, for the King every year and this year, we’ll be drawing the attention of people all over the world to his abilities. He is the only royal to have received the International Merit Award, an award
for environmental preservation, in recognition of his theory about ya faek [vetiver grass].”
As the licence holder and organiser, PD Creation is investing Bt150 million in the management of Miss Earth 2011, which takes place in Pattaya in November and will see the participation of contestants from more than 80 countries.
The concept for 2011 is “Smile for Earth, for All”.
“Our world is crying because we don’t take care of it. The world’s tears are flooding us. When the world moves, it shakes us up. Thailand is the Land of Smiles, so it’s time for us to send smiles to people who are suffering. Our activities will make the world smile again,”, Wanthanabhadee explains.
This year, one of the activities is “Reality Earth”.
“A big problem in the North is pollution. We’ll be taking the contestants up in a helicopter and we want them to behave like reporters, making a live telecast that will be aired in their own countries.
“The contestants will also take an oath to work on environmental conservation wherever they are in the world. That oath will be valid for one year. This is a departure from previous years, which have focused only on four winners: Miss Earth, Miss Earth Air, Miss Earth Water and Miss Earth Fire,” says the young CEO. “Our aim is to make Thai people much more aware of the environment.”
Last year, singer Ronan Keating was the special guest of Miss Earth 2010 in Vietnam.
Who is PD Creation inviting for the Thailand event?
“All I’m prepared to say right know is that it will be someone who is very important. We haven’t selected an artist based on his popularity but on what he does,” says Wanthanabhadee.
“This year, we will make Miss Earth greater than in previous years and, most importantly, promote the image of Miss Earth, who is also a United Nations Environment Programme ambassador, in taking the environmental campaign to the world.”
The 11th Miss Earth pageant will be held on November 12 in Pattaya.
The reigning Miss Earth has a passion for the planet.
Indian model Nicole Faria has devoted her reign as Miss Earth 2010 to environmental causes.
She’s called on people to help prevent destruction of the environment – for themselves and the future generations – stressing that the earth can survive without humans but humans cannot survive without a healthy earth.
The 21-year-old native of Bangalore was involved in environmental causes even before joining last year’s Miss Earth pageant in Vietnam.
These included promoting ecofriendly fabrics among women in her country.
“I believe in karma. What you give, you get back. You give to Mother Earth and Mother Earth gives back to you,” she said.
Chatting with local reporters at the recent press conference at a hotel in Khao Yai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Faria said that she would continue with her work for the environment even after she passed on the Miss Earth title to this year’s winner.
“This is my baby in a cradle and I need to protect it for as long as I live. I will do a lot more than I am doing now, for the rest of my life,” she said.
As the Miss Earth titleholder, Faria also is an ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme.
In India, she’s began a cleanup campaign for lakes in Bangalore. She won an award in Mumbai for her ecofriendly initiative to save some lakes there.
She’s also promoted rainwater harvesting through roof funnel pipes, cycle rickshaws and solar energy, among other projects, to help create a better environment.