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Embattled environmental journalists find allies in Miss Earth 2023 queens

May 11 ------ The reigning Miss Earth queens were alarmed upon learning about a Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) study showing the perils that environmental journalists are facing. 


“I feel sorry to see how many people are trying to be pushed down, or to get their voice stolen from them, when they’re trying to share such important information for our Earth, that maybe if it goes to the right ear, the right changes can happen,” 2023 Miss Earth Drita Ziri from Albania said when asked about their thoughts on the report during a media conference held at Brittany Hotel in Bacoor, Cavite, on Tuesday, May 7. 


The Miss Earth pageant serves as a platform for spreading environmental awareness, and its winners are expected to work on projects that help save the planet. The four international queens gathered in the Philippines for the counterpart national competition with the same thrust. Miss Earth-Fire Cora Bliault from Thailand got emotional, and said, “This is really devastating news, and my heart goes out to the family that has lost their kids, their husbands, wives. As a society, we need to learn empathy because if we feel what other people can feel, you feel for Mother Earth and really not want to hurt it.” Filipino queen Yllana Marie Aduana, crowned Miss Earth-Air, said the report has unmasked a disheartening reality. “I feel like it’s getting more serious. That kind of fact really demotivates other people to do something for the Earth,” said the medical laboratory scientist from Laguna. Miss Earth-Water Do Thi Lan Ahn from Vietnam echoed Aduana’s sentiments, and added, “It is difficult to get everybody to agree. After hearing about the facts, I feel the strong need to raise more awareness, but also educate our youth.” She said the youth hold the potential to change the future. “And if we can’t change the minds of the people who are currently in the situation, then maybe we can help push or bring awareness and also help educate our younger generation, so that when they grow up, they’re already exposed to what is happening to our environment, happening to our Mother Earth, and that way they’re able to make a change, a bigger change than we’re able to,” Do explained. 


The Filipino queen declared her support for the environmental journalists, and said, “I think that I am doing my part also of taking up the platform to raise awareness on the things that essentially matter…and also the situations that our environmentalists are experiencing, so that they would be aware too, and so they will also take up the platform to speak up about them.” Ziri, meanwhile, told environmental journalists, “Stay strong, try to have the right people beside them. Because when you have the right people beside you, you’re gonna want to know better, to be better sometimes, you’re gonna fight your fears and people who come against you, you’re gonna try to fight them too.” Bliault, for her part, commended the journalists. “They’re doing this not for themselves, but for others, for our planet Earth. They’re putting their life on the line just so they can save our lives, just because they can save Mother Earth,” she said. 


The four queens will still be together in Bukidnon for the 2024 Miss Philippines Earth coronation night to be held in the town of Talakag on May 11. The rare reunion of Miss Earth queens was made possible by entrepreneur Jam Aquino and her team, with the cooperation of pageant organizer Carousel Productions. 




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