Rhino Impact Investment Project

The Rhino Impact Investment Project was completed in 2021. The “Rhino Bond” launched as the Wildlife Conservation Bond in March 2022

The resulting product was launched in March 2022 as the Wildlife Conservation Bond. Also known as the “Rhino Bond,” this five-year, $150 million Sustainable Development Bond includes a potential performance payment from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which will contribute to protecting and increasing black rhino populations in two protected areas in South Africa, the Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) and the Great Fish River Nature Reserve (GFRNR).

In 1970, there were 65,000 black rhino in the wild. As poaching has intensified and pressures on their habitat increased, today only 5,500 now remain. They are extremely vulnerable to extinction in the wild, and the IUCN lists them as a Critically Endangered species. 

Black rhino

The Rhino Impact Investment (RII) Project is developing the world’s first pay-for-results financial instrument for species conservation. The achievement of pre-defined conservation performance indicators is linked to financial performance for those funding the black rhino conservation activities. The aim is therefore to mobilise new capital for conservation and to shift funding to focus on delivering outcomes. Ultimately, the Project Partners will look to build the blueprints to replicate this model to other rhino populations, similar species under threat and even Protected Areas.

Find out more at: “RESULTS FOR RHINOS Using innovative financing to achieve conservation outcomes” and www.rhinoimpact.com

The RII Project is an initiative of United for Wildlife (UfW), an unprecedented partnership between seven of the world’s leading wildlife charities, including the ZSL, and The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

Implementation of RII was led by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Project was funded by Credit Suisse, the Global Environment Facility, Oak Foundation, Rufford Foundation, the UK Government through the IWT Challenge Fund, The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and ZSL. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was the GEF Agency responsible for supporting the development, implementation and execution of Project activities consistent with both the GEF mandate and national sustainable development plans. RII received technical conservation, finance and legal implementation support from Implementation Partners including Conservation Alpha, Credit Suisse, DLA Piper, Fauna and Flora International, the IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group, The Nature Conservancy and the World Wide Fund for Nature.


Rhino Impact Investment Project Supporters


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 Service (KWS), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), UBS and WWF-UK. Conservation Capital is the appointed RII Finance Manager and Conservation Alpha is the appointed RII Performance Manager.

Rhino Impact Investment Project Partners


Project Information

Key Species

  • Black rhino (Diceros bicornis)

Project Team

  • Mike Hoffmann, ZSL Head of Global Conservation Programmes, RII Project Board Member
  • Oliver Withers, ZSL Head of Conservation Finance and Enterprise, RII Project Manager

Partners and sponsors