TweNty-one-year-old Samoan beauty Jacinta Bourne hopes to use the Miss South Pacific Pageant to further strengthen the message of preserving our environment.
Ms Bourne is studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in tourism and management and industrial relations at the University of the South Pacific's Alafua Campus.
"It is my humble wish that upon completion of my studies I become a part of the team that will help turn our tourism industry around, following the aftermath of the devastating tsunami which indiscriminately destroyed part of our island and took the lives of some of our beloved people," she said.
"I have very strong personal feelings about the theme for this year's Miss South Pacific Pageant, 'Preserving our environment the Pacific Way' especially after the devastation caused to my Samoa by the tsunami," she said.
"Besides enjoying time with and getting to know the other contestants, I hope to use this opportunity and forum to champion matters relating to the environment. I truly believe that all the unfortunate incidents recently experienced worldwide and in our own neighbourhood, is because we have not done enough of what we should have, and should be doing, to help preserve our environment."
Wishing the other contestants an enjoyable time, Ms Bourne said she hoped they would work together to preserve our environment for future generations.