MISS NEPAL : Nagma Shrestha
What environmental project will you create to promote the protection of Mother Earth and why?
Being Miss Earth Nepal, I am already involved in an array of different environmental projects with several organizations. In addition I am doing my part to promote awareness of environmental issues as the goodwill ambassador of International Union for Conservation of Nature. As I am already part of TV shows, I aspire to start and run a TV show focused not only in raising environmental issues and concerns, but bringing together different environmental experts to provide solutions to address and resolve them. In keeping with my belief that each of us has to be responsible in our own way, however small or big, in protecting our environment and ensuring a sustainable, healthy mother earth, my show will enable people to share their environmental initiative by posting videos, documentaries and sharing stories of their successes and challenges while pursuing such endeavors. As I’ve stated before my main target group will be women and the youth, for I firmly believe that in Nepal it is this group that will be the catalyst for positive environmental change in the days ahead. I believe awareness is the first step that leads to change and I will use the success of the Community Forest initiative as a cornerstone to strengthen the belief that we can make a difference. I plan to use the success of the Community Forest project to raise the awareness and belief amongst women and the youth in Nepal, that if we each individually commit to protecting the environment in which we live and exist, then collectively as a nation we will create an environment in which will safe for mother earth.
What makes you proud of your country and what can you promote about it?
I represent Nepal, a nation that embodies the depth of the very soul of humanity, being the birth place of Gautam Buddha, and is the home of the highest point in the world, Mount Everest. I feel my country is a “Nation of Hope”. Even though my country has gone through much political turmoil in the last 10 years, hope for a better tomorrow has made Nepal a fertile place for a beautiful today and a prosperous tomorrow. Nepal covers only 0.1% of the total land in the world yet we are blessed with immense geographical diversity. Even though we are landlocked between India and China, we have uniquely diverse terrain ranging from fertile plains and broad valleys to being the home of eight of the world's ten highest peaks. My nation is a culturally rich country in heritage and history immersed in thousands of years of tradition. Nepal is home to 10 World Heritage Sites recognized by the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and these sites are both manmade and natural. We are truly a nation that reflects unity in diversity being the home of more than 100 ethnic groups with their own unique culture, language and attire, and above all each being proud to be Nepali before all else. We are also a young country with over 70% of our population being under the age of 35. And of course unlike all other flags in the world that are rectangular, our national flag is uniquely shaped as two triangles out together. To sum it up my Nepal is a true example that, “Great things do come in small packages”.
Describe your childhood/growing years:
Whenever I think of the happy days of my early childhood I remember a story my grandmother used to tell me of two love birds, who lived in the same tree, and over the years their friendship blossomed into in love which finally culminated in their marriage. And the best part of the story for me was that I was the blessed princess of the same couple. As a child I was fortunate to be raised in a home full of love and care, not just from my parents but also from the other seven members of my extended family. Growing up in a joint family I learned early on the value of utilizing every resource to its fullest, wasting of little as possible and reusing whatever we could recycle. I was fortunate to have spent my formative years in a loving, caring environment, within a family that nurtured my curiosity and gave me room to learn and grow. The values that I hold dearest today are those that I cultivated during my pre teen years. I truly believe that it is because of these years of building a strong foundation that I am able to represent my nation proudly in an international pageant as MISS EARTH.
What lessons did you learn from your childhood/growing years?
Little did I realize then that the lessons that I was learning everyday from my family would become the core of the person I am today. Today my home extends to my neighborhood, my city, my nation and our Earth as a whole and the value of using only what I need, preserving what I can and sharing with others is the Mantra by which I live my life. Furthermore, I remember my classmates, seniors and even juniors teasing me about my height, for I was already 5'7" when I was merely 12 years old, in a nation where the average height of a woman is 5’4”. But I did not let that weaken my confidence. Instead, I believe, it cultivated in me an inner belief that it is not what others say of me that matters, but what I thought of myself. And this belief gave me the strength to prove what I am, what I'm capable of, and to consistently stand firm in my beliefs and values, no matter what people thought of me. Yes, it has not always been easy to do so but I have always believed that we just need to stay strong outside and inside and above else all always have faith in oneself!
What is your most memorable moment?
This particular question has kept me in a dilemma for a long time now for I look at life not in terms of just big memorable moments but as a journey filled with countless tiny moments of joy and fulfillment. For instance, my dad dropping me to school and bidding me farewell after I stop crying, of course, my mom massaging my hair every weekend, tucking myself in between my parents in bed, the treasured moments spent hearing stories from my grandmother and many more. But if I had to recall one specific moment, it was when I came out first in my college speech competition. My parents were not just over-whelmed with happiness, but literally had tears in their eyes for til then I had always been an introvert, silent child, who hardly speak in public. That moment is memorable for me because firstly it made me believe that with effort I could achieve tasks that I had thought were beyond my abilities and reach. And secondly because I realized that the success from my efforts gave those near and dear to me far more joy than it gave me, and seeing them elated with my efforts gave me such fulfillment that nothing else can give.
What is your environmental advocacy and why did you choose it?
I plan to continue to be an advocate for the enhanced role and involvement of women in environmental projects in my home country Nepal. My major focus in doing this will be in ‘Community-based-Forests’, where I am involved in enhancing the awareness in women and through them the family and society at large on how to best preserve and utilize our forests in a sustainable manner so as to achieve the dual objective of ensuring that the forests continue to provide fuel and livelihood to the women and their communities, as well as ensuring the regeneration and preservation of our forests which are not only a national but a global asset of mother earth. Like many countries around the world my nation Nepal is also male dominated. However I strongly believe that women are and should continue to be the main movers in raising awareness of environmental issues. Because even in a male dominated society not only is there a woman behind every man's success, but the same goes for the success of her children. Hence, educating and raising the awareness levels in women will enable them to raise awareness in her family. Therefore I will focus my efforts in leading the women towards fostering forests for the community living in and around it. I plan to call this community forest advocacy initiative: “Mothers for Mother Earth”.
What tip can you share to promote sustainable energy for all?
The tip I would like to share is what I learned from my family as a child, “Use only what you need and do your best to give back more than what you use.” To ensure sustainable energy for all, I believe that each of us has to be conscious of the energy we are consuming and always try to find ways to optimize our energy consumption at home and at work. Along with this, each of us has to actively implement effective recycling, use of environmental friendly products, and other means to generate sustainable energy. While the need to promote sustainable energy may be a global issue, I truly believe that the solution has to start with us individually. Now is the time to act and take initiative rather than just going about declaring our advocacies. So I would like to request everyone to be more aware and start now from your families to promote sustainable energy. I am doing my bit. Are you?
Other information that you would like to share with the Miss Earth Management:
Nepal is a nation going through transition. We have just been through an armed revolution that lasted over a decade in which thousands lost their lives. Now having cast aside a century old monarchy we are in the process of writing a new constitution as a Republic. Through all this change, chaos and conflict a vast majority of Nepali youth lose hope in our motherland, as millions choose to migrate across the world. Those who were hit hardest in most cases were the girls and women, many of whom live and work with little or no dignity and hope left. I come to Miss Earth with the aspiration and hope of wearing the crown not only for myself but to also give my sisters across my motherland a ray of hope, a glimmer of a smile, a drop of joy in knowing that even in the midst of all this pain and suffering one of us has managed to make a mark. I want my participation and performance in Miss Earth to be a spark of ‘Hope’ to millions who have nothing to be hopeful for.
Height: 5 feet 10 inches
Weight: 132 lbs
Profession: Television Host