Starting January 2013, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is to no longer “adorn” the banknotes circulating in Fiji. Thus, the country's new currency, which was unveiled earlier today, is to display pictures of native plants and animals instead of members of the British royal family.
In case anyone was wondering, Britain's royalty had been featured on Fijian currency since 1934, but now that this former British colony is a republic (this happened in 1987), it seems that its residents are ready to let go of everything connecting them to the British crown.
Political implications aside, what interests us is the fact that, rather than browsing through the biographies of various people who helped shape out Fiji's cultural profile, this island nation has decided to look into the possibility of using its new currency to celebrate local biodiversity.
According to FijiLive, Fiji’s President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau made a case of how, “Our past and present notes and coins have over many years given us much pride and recognition both locally and internationally, and we are forever grateful to the Royal family for allowing us to use their effigies.”
However, the time has now come for this country to reconnect with its surroundings and figure out a way to safeguard them from the various threats they are facing.
“Damage to our environment and its habitat can be done in a matter of minutes. Restoration of the same can take generations. Let us act now to preserve our environment for our children and the many more generations of Fijians to come,” Fiji's president went on to add.
These banknotes are to be referred to as the Fijian Flora and Fauna series, and their main goal is that of helping raise more awareness with respect to conservation and environmental issues amongst locals.
The new notes and coins are to make their debut on January 2, and the older ones are to remain in circulation for a relatively short period.