Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The delegates and winners give meaning and relevance to this beauty competition by promoting worthwhile environmental causes and getting actively involved in caring for and the preservation of Mother Earth. In addition to its environmental objectives, the winner of Miss Earth is involved with projects for the Philippines' Department of Tourism to attract and bring more tourists to the country, and to promote the importance of ecotourism. During pageant month, Carousel brings the Miss Earth delegates to selected tourism destinations, like Fort Ilocandia, Intramuros, and Boracay in the Philippines to showcase and promote the same to the pageant's international viewers. The delegates also take part in treeplanting ceremonies, environmental and cultural immersion programs, sponsor visits and tours, and even a Survivor-based competition.
The first Miss Earth was Catharina Svensson of Denmark. The second Miss Earth was Dzejla Glavovic of Bosnia & Herzegovina, who was later dethroned for violating the terms of her contract, and failing to show up to various environmental projects and commitments. The first runner-up, Winfred "Winnie" Adah Omwakwe of Kenya took over the title and relinquished her crown in 2003 to Dania Prince of Honduras.
Miss Earth gained worldwide press in 2003 after Vida Samadzai, an Afghan refugee now residing in the United States, competed in a red bikini as the first-ever Miss Afghanistan after nearly three decades.
The court of runner ups are bestowed titles named after the other natural elements: Miss Earth-Fire (equivalent to third runner-up), Miss Earth-Water (second runner-up), and Miss Earth-Air (first runner-up).
The recently concluded 2004 pageant was its biggest ever, with sixty-one contestants competing for the crown. The eventual winner was Priscilla Meirelles of Brazil. In every year Brazil has participated in, including 2004, the nation has placed either first runner-up or winner.
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