Wall Street push for EC black rhino protection

Bond for species protection

Two wildlife sanctuaries in the Eastern Cape, home to critically endangered black rhinos, will receive $10 million to help fight poaching and improve the animals’ conditions.

Addo Elephant Park and Great Fish Nature Reserve are the only South African beneficiaries of the World Bank Group’s newly established five-year Wildlife Conservation Bond.

The other three pilot sites are in Kenya.

The World Bank Group issued the new Rhino Impact Investment Bond in New York on Wednesday evening.

It is the first outcomes-based financial tool of its kind to channel investments to deliver conservation outcomes, measured in this case by increases in black rhino populations.

The bond will be sold at 94.84% of par and will offer investors a guaranteed minimum yield at maturity.

The pilot project calls for the World Bank to issue a $150 million bond issue on March 31.

Eastern Cape Park and Tourism Agency CEO Vuyisani Dayimani said the funding would support increased staffing and training, improved national and regional coordination, and investment in equipment, infrastructure and technology.

South African National Parks acting CEO Dumisani Dlamini said the bond will support important conservation efforts at Addo Elephant National Park and help fill funding gaps due to a decline in tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This project is an example of our ongoing efforts to encourage innovation, best practice and new revenue streams to foster a system of sustainable national parks that contribute to South Africa’s biodiversity economy,” he said.

Minister for Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy says they are thrilled to be at the forefront of an innovative new financial instrument aimed at increasing our efforts to protect the world’s largest rhino population.

“South Africa is committed to securing nature’s contribution to people through well-managed and growing protected areas that contribute to inclusive rural economic growth in thriving biodiversity economic hubs,” she said.

According to the World Bank, the parks receive about half of the funds in the first year.

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