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London Zoo partners to bring pay-for-success to animal protection

ImpactAlpha, July 23 – The Zoological Society of London is teaming up with Conservation Capital to market a $50 million impact bond to protect Africa’s black rhino population.It will be the first impact bond geared towards animal conservation.

Black rhinos are a critically endangered species, with a population of fewer than 5,500 due to poaching. The impact bond’s partners have designed a five-year program to boost the black rhino populations in five conservation sites in Kenya and South Africa, where 700 rhinos live.

The Global Environment Facility and U.K. government are backing the initiative, Bloomberg reported. It has yet to be marketed to private investors.

Elsewhere, more traditional bond structures have been used to finance environmental conservation efforts, like a $20 million ocean protection project in the Seychelles. The pay-for-success structure has been applied to several environmental programs in Latin America, D.C., Baltimore and Atlanta and to more than 130 social impact initiatives worldwide.

“We see this as a shift in the conservation-funding model,” Oliver Withers of the Zoological Society of London said of the rhino bond. “There is huge scope for this to be used for other species.”

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