Thursday, March 28, 2019

Earth Warrior by Heart and in Deed: Miss Earth 2018, Nguyễn Phương Khánh is Fighting for Mother Nature

NGUYỄN PHƯƠNG KHANH, Miss Earth 2018 is the first Vietnamese woman to receive one of the Big Four International Beauty Pageant Crowns.

Before winning Miss Earth, Phuong Khan says, "I joined a total of two pageants in the span of six months for the reason that I would like to be a role model for young women who are independent and capable of sharing her views about independence, leadership and driving the passion of taking care of our environment." 

Her Mission as Miss Earth 2018

My mission of being the title holder of Miss Earth 2018 is to be the voice and driving force in teaching the younger generation of how to be aware of purpose and usage of our resources in our planet. 
As for the priority lists, herewith are my advocacies:

  • Keep our environment clean and healthy.
  • Do away with plastic materials as an example, 8 billion people here in our home, Earth can do away with one straw each.
  • To keep clean of the great Mekong river which passes through my hometown, Ben Tre, including other channels of water as to make the towns and cities to be aware on how to properly dispose waste, and even informing communities on how they live by washing and throwing away the daily waste. 
  • To be the leader and ambassador of change on to how to balance the use of our natural resources; to minimize and prevent pollution from air, water and land from my hometown in Ben Tre Province to HCMC to Vietnam and be able to work with my fellow sisters representing each of their countries. Collectively we can do this in making Mother Earth healthy.
  • To balance the usage of energy and conservation - as Vietnam - my country is growing at a very fast pace of being an Industrial Market.

Social Media especially Instagram is very influential to younger millennials. How can you incorporate the Miss Earth Advocacy through them, so they would have a better understanding as to why we need to "Act Now" when it comes to having a sustainable future.

I have started my own efforts before joining the competition. Let me tell you a story: There is a woman in Ben Tre that has been collecting plastic wastes from bags, bottles, packaging at the Mekong River during the past years. I was amazed by the woman and voluntarily joined her in helping her out. I posted the photos during the pageant.

Reality is - viewers on Social Media are just mindful of fashion, style, expensive items, and the likes. Probably, I can be one among the few handful millennials who are the key influencers in carrying the role of keeping our environment healthy even at our own small efforts. As I've answered, "One small action can be multiplied by a million to Transform the World!"

IG stories are important to show short clips too about the environment. Recently, I [just] launched a project "Together We Act For Climate Change Responds" in Ben Tre.

Together with the key officials and community members; we did tree planting from small seeds and hopefully, it will grow to a forest. Giving a talk to young students about what the current situation is outside and about the hazards and effects of Climate Change.

By starting an education of Environmental Awareness, from the school children, they will be able to influence their parents back home then it will grow from one neighborhood to another than to a commune, city, and country.

There are more and more developers are eyeing on building infrastructures such as housing and industrial developments in wildlife areas, including our oceans, rivers just because it sounds like an "exotic place." How are we able to press the issue that the ecological effect of these virgin forests is crucial to wildlife survival? And it's vital to humanity's health survival?

I am aware of the changes that my country has undergone - growing up in a small town at Ben Tre Province as being one of the two provinces while the latter is Binh Dinh Province in Vietnam being known as the capital of producing coconuts, and we are exporting it abroad. Ben Tre has grown to a city because of progress, a transformation in terms of economic benefits from the produce to traders and buyers, therefore, new hotels and shopping centers have been established. A popular retailer will be constructed soon rise up.

Now let me move on to my experience too in living in Singapore for three years for my University. We know how developed the city of Singapore is and how strict the laws are in respecting the country. Our government in Vietnam and the provinces have the Ministry of Planning and Investment wherein rules and regulations are strictly implemented in terms of safety, and levels of building and structure. There is a report that needs to be submitted too, called Environmental Impact Assessment wherein by definition before any establishments/structures/enterprises are to be built there have to be submitted and reviewed by the concerning bodies. Once it passes then a thumbs up is given. The system above can always be followed accordingly to the levels of compliance, therefore, each country whether under-developed, developing nation and 1st world nations must be strict on the laws as to preserve the natural habitat of animals/wildlife/ insects/living creatures wherein water, rivers, seas, and oceans.

Being the ambassador of taking care of Mother Earth, I have started projects with the local municipality in my province wherein support has been given by both the government and private companies. Planting trees and education are the key steps towards helping ourselves to preserve our forests and environment which goes back to us. If we do not listen to the cries and moans of our Mother Earth, why should we wait for its ill effects which cost lives both in society, wildlife and our crops?

Her Favorites

Fun Fact

Collecting Vinyl Records, listening to a different genre of music from classical to R&B and taking care of my cat. Another fun fact, she says, "My unique laugh!"

What's your passion or interest outside pageantry?

I enjoy calligraphy and sketching. I am more into arts and culture. I enjoy reading history and The Great Nations on how they were able to sustain themselves from humble beginnings to the powerhouse of nations in the Era of Technology.

Favorite tourist spot in Vietnam? What's unique about this place?

Vietnam is very beautiful and has many tourist spots. One of the most popular tourist spots is Hoi An – the ancient city of Vietnam. This city is very peaceful with old communal houses, old building, and trading streets. 

There are many things that make this place become the most unique heritage that attracts visitors around the world every year. That is lantern street which is the symbol of this city. At night, visitors can feel like they are in another world. 

Second is the old town scenery, the streets are all painted with yellow color. In here, you can go bicycling to explore this old town. 

Last but not least, that is the amazing foods. The food here is very delicious and affordable, and everyone can also take a cooking class to learn how to make Vietnam foods.

Her definition of  beauty 

There are various perceptions about the beauty of the world. For me, beauty is not only about the beauty of the face or appearance, but beauty is also happiness. It is the moment when you feel peaceful and free which inspire and reflect the most remarkable attractiveness of our souls. And for women, we glow differently when we are happy.

On women empowerment

I believe that women have the right to be treated equally and given them the chance to play a meaningful part in the society. It’s a process for women to determine the way they want to be and do. They are free to make their own decision. 

Nowadays, it becomes an important part of building stronger economies to achieve the development and sustainability in terms of quality of life for both men and women, and even the communities.

Follow Phương Khánh's journey on Miss Earth Facebook and Instagram. 

PageantLIVE and Ask The Crown Exclusives. PageantLIVE is known for exclusive interviews, and we pride to have and maintains on publishing our original contents. 
**Disclaimer: Photos are directly from Miss Earth Organization.


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