PH’s Miss Earth candidate Yllana Aduana speaks at UN climate meet
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ bet to Miss Earth 2023 Yllana Aduana recently had the chance to speak before delegates of the United Nation global conference in New York wherein she underscored the “disheartening reality” that many Filipinos are unaware of the body’s goals for sustainable development.
The UN event was a conference attended by ministers and high-level representatives from government, business and civil society from 140 countries that seeks to “push for integrated and accelerated action on climate and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Aduana was introduced by Kaveh Guillanpour, Vice President for International Strategies at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and former senior advisor to the UN., who later thanked her for “using your platform effectively.”
In her brief remark, the scientist-turned-beauty queen said that not too many people in the Philippines are aware of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly the 17 SDGs, so she narrated that she had to travel in many places to campaign for this.
“Before being a beauty queen i am also a scientist and an advocate of the earth. So what I do is I travel to different sectors in the Philippines to talk about the 17 sustainable development goals and their interconnectedness to nature. One thing I have observed in the Philippines is that most students actually do not have any idea about it. So that’s a very disheartening reality. But what I do is I take my best effort to go over different sector to talk about it. Being at this conference really makes me happy because I know I get to have a takeaway and a knowledge that I can share to Filipino children,” she told the UN delegates.
“One of the solutions that I do is to have community outreach and create a pamphlet of summary of the 17 SDGs. I always tell them, you have to understand that everything in nature is always in connection with our actions, and our decisions on a day-to-day basis across all times and places really play a vital role in shaping what our future looks like. And these Filipino children and the children all over the planet are our future. So I inspire them all the time,” she further said.
Interviewed online by INQUIRER.net, Aduana said she was equally happy to have been given the privilege to “raise the flag of the Philippines as the reigning Miss Earth-Philippines by having been given a chance to talk in front of other world leaders about my cause.”
“I focused on sharing how I observed that most of our students and audience do not have an idea about the synergy of SDGs and climate action. And I personally can’t blame them. Especially in the Philippines where we experience a high rate of poverty, hunger, and medical problems, climate action may possibly be perceived to be least of their priorities. But this is what I do as a spokesperson of the climate and [the SDGs],” she said.
The Filipino queen said she learned a lot from the conference. “It was repeatedly said in the room that we are still off track from achieving the 2030 Agenda and the 17 [SDGs], and we only have seven years left. What struck me the most is a statement from one of the UN ambassadors saying that we can all have different people coming together now, the resources, the science and innovations, but only solid political will and government funding can be the key to achieve the 2030 Agenda,” she shared.
Aduana said her recent UN conference stint may help her capture the crown.
“To be a Miss Earth, she has to be someone who can confidently be in the same room with anyone to talk about her causes and agenda, whether it be students, children, adults, policymakers, decision-makers, and world leaders across nations. Because that is what makes her an effective spokesperson not only for the planet but also for the people,” she said.
“Attending the conference just proves that I am here to make a lasting impact beyond pageantry. I am here not to waste and take advantage of the platform of the Miss Earth, but to use it effectively and even elevate it. The conference made me learn new imperative things to impart to other people. But also, being able to use my voice and platform to raise my causes in a reputable organization like the UN as soon as now opens multiple doors of opportunities for me, the organization, the pageant, and everyone involved,” she added.
Aduana’s appearance before the UN conference marks the second time that a Filipina beauty queen was invited to join a UN summit, the first being Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco who attended the Youth Climate Summit at the UN headquarters in New York.
Return to Vietnam
Meanwhile, pageant organizers of Miss Earth have announced that the coronation for its 23rd edition will be held on December 16 in Vietnam.
Vietnam is just one of only two countries outside the Philippines to ever host the Miss Earth pageant. It first welcomed the environment-centered annual competition in 2010, for the global tilt’s 10th edition.
The 2023 contest will be held at NovaWorld in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, where about 90 international delegates are expected to converge.
Aduana will try to sustain the Philippines’ dominance in the Manila-based competition by recording the country’s fifth victory.
A pageant veteran, she has years of national pageant experience under her belt that could help her with her quest. She first joined the Miss Philippines Earth pageant in 2021, where she finished as a runner-up. In the same year, she was crowned Miss FIT (face, intelligence, tone) Philippines.
She was also a semifinalist in the 2022 Binibining Pilipinas pageant, where she received the “Face of Binibini” award.
The Philippines is the most successful country in the Miss Earth pageant with four winners—Karla Paula Henry in 2008, Jamie Herrell in 2014, Angelia Ong in 2015, and Karen Ibasco in 2017.
The annual competition is founded by Manila-based Carousel Productions of Ramon Monzon and beauty queen Lorraine Schuck. EDV