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Anne-Lise Ramooloo, elected Miss Ile Durable 2010, will arrive in Vietnam tomorrow (Wednesday 3rd November) hoping to make Mauritius proud in the annual Miss Earth contest. Miss Earth was started in 2001 by the organisers of Miss Philippines. Their aim was to create a beauty contest that focuses global attention on the urgent need to do much more to protect the environment. Now in its tenth year, Miss Earth has grown in prestige and popularity to rival Miss World.

As well as her beauty, elegance and charm, Anne-Lise will be judged on her general knowledge of the vital goods and services nature freely provides to us, the major threats to the environment and the particular challenges that Mauritius faces. To prepare her, she was invited to the Prime Minister’s Office to meet Mr Osman Mohamed, Chairman of the MID Steering Committee.

Mr Mohamed emphasised that Maurice Ile Durable remains the apex vision for the nation. He explained, for example, that the proposal to make Mauritius an island city state is not about covering the country with concrete. It means concentrating development in urban areas where homes, work places, schools and shops are closer together so that we waste less time and energy travelling between them.

The aim is to increase our quality of life by introducing modern mass transit systems, so we can leave our cars at home, creating beautiful parks where we can reconnect with nature and incorporating leisure facilities where we can relax and play. As the sugar industry contracts, agriculture will focus more on the crops we need to achieve greater food and energy security. The restoration of the tropical forests that once covered much of our country is also being considered to provide wood, increase rainfall, reduce soil erosion and so help protect our lagoons. Mauritius will certainly remain a green island.

Anne-Lise also met with Dr Karl Mootoosamy and his team from MTPA. They discussed the sustainability of the tourism sector and the need for Mauritius to become a more ecologically responsible destination. It was recognised that Miss Earth could become an important tool in both repositioning Mauritius in its traditional markets and raising awareness in new and developing ones.

This Thursday, the Board of MTPA will decide whether to offer the overall winner of Miss Earth 2010 a holiday to Mauritius. If they do, it will become part of her package of prizes and announced on coronation night, on Saturday 4th December, to a live television audience numbering hundreds of millions throughout the world. MBC are negotiating with the organisers for the rights to broadcast the show here so that we can watch it too.

Mauritius’ participation in Miss Earth this year is a collaborative effort co-ordinated by the NGO We Love Mauritius. Anne-Lise’s competition gowns are provided by internationally acclaimed designer, Lida O’Reilly. Doris Easton-Huet, owner of Tendances, is supplying her cocktail dresses. The talented Doorgesh Mungur is the official photographer. All three have generously offered their services free of charge and their support is deeply appreciated. In showcasing our nation’s capabilities on the world stage, we wish Anne-Lise every success, confident that she will make us all proud to be Mauritian.

Photographs for Miss Photogenic

Photographs for the Miss Earth Calendar (protecting aquatic environments)