The core aims of this project are to improve onsite protection by engaging with wildlife area managers and to provide better funding for area management in order to decrease poaching of rhinos.
The Rhino Conservation Challenge
Rhinos in particular are under immense pressure from the illegal wildlife trade. 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 increased 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 a targeted and scalable approach that utilises innovative financing mechanisms to draw on philanthropic and impact investor capital to drive improvements in protected area management effectiveness.
Shifting the Conservation Funding Model
Creating long-term financing solutions for conserving species and engaging people through developing livelihoods will depend on changing the way conservation is funded.
The 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 and successes achieved will aid the development of similar projects in the future, and create a valuable knowledge base for the field of conservation finance.