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.
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.
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.
Since it began the pageant has been held in October or November, in Manila, Philippines and televised nationwide via ABS-CBN with international 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.
Miss Earth gained 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. She later became Ms. America 2005-06.
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 Inc. 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.
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 7th Miss Earth Pageant was held at the University of the Philippines Theater in Quezon City on November 11, 2007. Prior to the finals night, the candidates were toured to various destinations in the Philippines and Vietnam. Twenty-two year-old Jessica Trisko of Canada beat 87 other candidates.
On July 22, 2008, in the local news program at ABS-CBN, Carousel confirmed that the preliminary activities will be held in Bali, Indonesia, Guam and the coronation night of Miss Earth 2008 is going to be held in the Philippines.
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, and a panel interview where the candidates speak of their environmental platform and personal thoughts.
As soon as the preliminary activities 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 assume.
In the early years of the pageant, from 2001 to 2003, ten (10) semi-finalists were chosen at Miss Earth. From 2004 to 2007, 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.
The Miss Earth crown is designed and created by Katha Awardee and Young Designer Awardee, Arnel Papa.
|2001||Catharina Svensson||Quezon City, Philippines|
|2002||Džejla Glavović||Pasay City, Philippines|
|2003||Dania Prince||Quezon City, Philippines|
|2004||Priscilla Meirelles||Quezon City, Philippines|
|2005||Alexandra Braun||Quezon City, Philippines|
|2006||Hil Hernández||Manila, Philippines|
|2007||Jessica Trisko||Vietnam and Philippines|
|2008|| || ||Guam, Indonesia and Philippines|
Table of the top rankings of countries for the Miss Earth pageant, based on all results from the first to the most recent event.
|Rank||Country||Miss Earth||Miss Air||Miss Water||Miss Fire|
|3||Canada, Chile, Denmark, Honduras, Kenya||1||0||0||0|
|5||Dominican Republic, Martinique||0||1||0||0|
|7||Tahiti, Philippines, Kazakhstan, Costa Rica||0||0||1||0|
|8||Argentina, Greece, Paraguay, Spain||0||0||0||1|
|South America||3 titles won by Brazil , Chile, Venezuela|
|Europe||1 title won by Denmark|
|Africa||1 title won by Kenya|
|North America||2 titles won by Canada, Honduras|
* In 2002, Bosnia & Herzegovina's Džejla Glavović won the Miss Earth crown. However, she was dethroned a few months later by the Miss Earth Organization for not fulfilling the duties stipulated in her contract. First runner-up, Kenya's Winfred Omwakwe continued the responsibilities as Miss Earth 2002.