World Bank, the international financial institution which provides grants and loans to low- and middle-income nations, has reportedly announced that it is selling the world’s first bond that is designed to raise funds to help track and grow population of the endangered black rhinoceros across South Africa.
According to reports, the half a decade long, $45 million security would be the first wildlife conservation bond in the world. World Bank intends to sell this bond in the middle of 2021. As per the Rhino Impact Investment Project, which is an initiative birthed by Zoological Society of London, investor returns would be determined on the basis of the rate at which rhino populations grow in two wildlife reserves across South Africa.
If the program sees success in this endeavor, it is likely to be expanded to offer protection to black rhino populations across Kenya. Rhino Impact further stated in a document about the proposal that they would also move to cover other wildlife species like tigers, lions, orangutans, and gorillas pending the program’s success.
This provides a vital opportunity for individuals interested in the conservation to receive an additional fruitful return on the support they provide. It would also allow them to possibly re-invest the money they receive from the returns in other conservation projects.
For the record, this new initiative would also allow wildlife conservation programs to be less reliant on philanthropists as well as government grants, making them much more sustainable and impactful in the long-run.
Credit Suisse Group AG would be taking on the role of financial advisor on the proposed project. Meanwhile, the World Bank would also set to simultaneously sell another $100 million conservation bond, However, it has not yet been specified where it intends to use this bond.
Of the total 29,000 rhinos that make up the five species across the globe, approximately 80% exist in South Africa with almost all being white. Black rhino numbers currently stand at about 5,500, down from the 65,000 population in 1970, a number which once potentially stood at 850,000, as per the World Bank.