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Finance and biodiversity conservation: insights from rhinoceros conservation and the first wildlife conservation bond

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Medina, C 


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThe Rhino Bond is the first financial instrument dedicated to protecting a species. The Bond allows investors to invest in the conservation of the black rhinoceros jats:italicDiceros bicornis</jats:italic>, with the amount of money returned by the investment depending on whether rhinoceros numbers increase (and by how much). In this paper we focus on how the Bond was brought into being. We draw on an analysis of organizational reports along with data collected from interviews with key informants to investigate the roles of the various stakeholders in the Bond, how species and sites were selected, the motivations and experiences of the stakeholders and the involvement of stakeholders in decision-making. We found that although conservation actors are attracted by the potential for new funding, they have experienced challenges navigating complex financial instruments. The needs of financial actors often dictated decision-making, with implications for the species and sites chosen for the Bond. As profits are tied to an increase in population size of a specific species (which needs to be monitored), the instrument has favoured large and easily counted species and populations. Only some sites were able to meet the stringent conditions of financial instruments, including metrics on financial sustainability. We argue that the dominance of financial principles and motives means that not all species or sites will be viable candidates for investment and that conservation finance should not be seen as a panacea.</jats:p>



Black rhinoceros, conservation finance, Diceros bicornis, impact investing, incentives, innovative finance, outcome-based instruments, Rhino Bond

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Cambridge University Press (CUP)