Miss Earth 2013
Miss Earth International 2013 beauty contestants pose for a photographers at a pool of hotel in Taguig city, metro Manila November 21, 2013. [Reuters]

The Miss Earth 2013 beauty contest is edging towards the final stages, with the top eight contestants announced.

The top eight finalists are - Miss Austria Katia Wagner, Miss Korea Catharina Choi, Miss Mexico Kristal Silva, Miss Thailand Punika Kulsoontornrut, Miss Poland Aleksandra Szczesna, Miss Philippines Angelee delos Reyes, Miss Venezuela Alyz Henrich, and Miss Serbia Andjelka Tomasevic.

Miss India Earth contestant Shobita Dhulipala, who won the Miss Photogenic and Eco-beauty titles ahead of the grand finale, failed to make it to the top 16.

A total of 89 contestants from across the world were competing for the crown and the title of Miss Earth 2013. Miss Earth 2012 Tereza Fajksova from Czech Republic will crown the winner of this year's pageant.

British actor Oli Pettigrew and model Linda Black co-hosted the event held at Versailles Palace in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines. The competition began at 8 pm PHT (12.00 pm GMT / 5.30 pm IST).

The winner of the contest will serve as the ambassador for environmental protection campaigns worldwide. Three contestants will also be awarded with the titles of Miss Air, Miss Water and Miss Fire at the event.

Miss Earth, the last annual international beauty pageant, was started in 2001 with an aim to preservation of the environment.