The Wildlife Conservation Bond (WCB) just saw a huge boost in funding from the World Bank in support of rhino conservation in South Africa.
Also known as the “Rhino Bond,”, this five-year $150 million bond includes a potential performance payment from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which will contribute to protecting and increasing Black rhino populations in two of South Africa’s protected areas, namely the Addo Elephant National Park and the Great Fish River Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape.
What is the WCB and how does it help rhino conservation?
According to The World Bank, the WCB is a unique, first-of-its-kind, outcome-based, financial cause that channels investments to achieve conservation outcomes. The conservation outcome in this case is the preservation and growth in black rhino populations.
World Bank Group President David Malpass commented on the bond:
“The Rhino Bond is a groundbreaking approach to enabling private sector investment in global public goods — in this case biodiversity conservation, a key global development challenge,”
“The pay-for-success financial structure protects an endangered species and strengthens South Africa’s conservation efforts by leveraging the World Bank’s infrastructure and track record in capital markets. Importantly, it can be replicated and scaled to channel more private capital for other conservation and climate actions and development objectives around the world.” he added
Rhinos are considered an umbrella species that play a vital role in creating and maintaining entire ecosystems on which countless other species depend. They are therefore vital to the environment.
Rhino protection also helps other species that share their habitat. This ecosystem then contributes to South Africa’s national economy through job creation, tourism and as an important source of foreign exchange.