Rhino Impact Investment Project

Black RhinocerosThe Rhino Impact Investment (RII) Project is an initiative of United for Wildlife (UfW), an unprecedented partnership between seven of the world’s leading wildlife charities, including the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. 

UfW is working to combat illegal wildlife trade through supporting and implementing projects on all aspects of illegal wildlife trade, from strengthening protection on the ground to reducing consumer demand, and increasing interventions along transport routes. 

In each case, UfW is working to create long-term solutions that both reduce the imminent threat from illegal wildlife trade and build the capacity required for sustained recovery of livelihoods and biodiversity. 

Improving on-site protection is an immediate priority of UfW, in order to gain a foothold in the fight to disassemble illegal wildlife trade. 

As such Project partners are conducting a three-year testing phase to assess the feasibility of using outcomes-based financing to ensure long-term, sustainable funding for critical conservation areas using rhinos as an initial focus in the RII Project. The aim is to then replicate this model to other countries with critical rhino populations, and similar species under threat. 

The RII Project is now offering a select group of donors and investors the opportunity to be a part of the first mechanism pioneering the use of innovative finance for rhino conservation. For interested donors, there is an opportunity to direct long-term funding to protected areas demonstrating ongoing effective conservation – thereby maximising the cost-effectiveness of conservation funding. 

By being a part of this project, you are helping to set a precedent for the industry: creating impact environmentally, socially and financially.

Implementation of the Rhino Impact Investment Project is led by ZSL and the Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, the UK Government through the IWT Challenge Fund, UfW and ZSL. The United Nations Development Programme is the GEF Agency acting as the operational arm of the GEF to implement and execute Project activities consistent with both the GEF mandate and national sustainable development plans.

Rhino Impact Investment Project supporter logos

The Rhino Impact Investment Project receives implementation support on technical conservation, conservation finance and legal from Implementation Partners including Credit Suisse, DLA Piper, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the IUCN SSC African and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups (AfRSG and AsRSG), Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), UBS and WWF-UK.

Rhino Impact Investment Project implementing partner logos

Project Information

Key Species

  • White rhino (Ceratotherium simum)
  • Black rhino (Diceros bicornis)
  • Greater one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis)

Project Team

  • Chris Barichievy, ZSL and RII Conservation Scientist 
  • Sabrina Cleary, RII Project Administrator
  • Chris Gordon, ZSL Kenya Country Manager and RII Pilot Site Manager
  • Mike Hoffmann, ZSL Head of Global Conservation Programmes and RII Project Board Member
  • Oliver Withers, RII Project Manager

Partners and sponsors