United for Rhinos – The Rhino Impact Investment Project
As part of our United for Wildlife commitments, we are working towards finding long-term solutions to conservation problems. Improving on-site protection is an immediate priority for us in order to gain a foothold in the fight to stop illegal wildlife trade.
As such, over the past two years, United for Wildlife partners have been conducting tests to assess the feasibility of using outcomes-based financing to ensure long-term financial funding for critical conservation areas, using rhinos as an initial focus in the Rhino Impact Investment (RII) Project. The Project unites scientists, donors and investors looking to improve funding models and achieve positive outcomes for rhino populations.
The Rhino Conservation Challenge
Demand for rhino horn has reached unprecedented levels. The resulting illegal trade is pushing African rhinos towards the tipping point, where deaths start exceeding births and continental population numbers decline at an accelerating rate.
These rising poaching pressures are increasing the costs of rhino conservation. Rhino conservation managers are struggling to raise sufficient funds from traditional sources required for effective day-to-day management and protection of rhinos, let alone the funds needed to improve and sustain these impacts over the long-term.
Addressing this challenge requires an approach that utilises innovative financing mechanisms to drive improvements in protected area management.
Shifting the conservation funding model
Our objective is to transform conservation by demonstrating an outcomes-based financing mechanism that is scalable – a way to direct additional funds to effectively improve the management of priority rhino populations. The outcome will be to launch an investment product that will drive impact-focused and cost-efficient growth in rhino numbers.
Through the RII Project outcomes-based financing model, an evidence-based approach to management planning and other data-supported interventions inform a theory of change, which links rhino conservation outcomes clearly to investor pay-out, and investment success. Anchored on metrics and evidence, this model drives stakeholders to critically analyse and understand conservation issues, define progress and focus on results, shifting focus from outputs to long-term impacts.
This ground-breaking conservation finance initiative will offer outcomes-payers and impact investors the world’s first species specific outcomes-based funding mechanism.
The coordinated, collaborative and cross-sector approach used to deliver the RII financing mechanism and the challenges solved will hopefully help the development of similar projects in the future, and create a valuable knowledge base for the field of conservation finance.
For more information please click here