SOUTH AFRICA: The World Bank issues its first Rhino Bond for black rhinos

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SOUTH AFRICA: The World Bank issues its first Rhino Bond for black rhinos© Fabio Lotti/Shutterstock

The World Bank (WB) is finally launching the pilot phase of its Wildlife Bond, a bond from which the funds raised will be used for the animal cause and more specifically for the black rhinos in South Africa. The operation, which amounts to 150 million dollars, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (Wall Street). The funds will be used to combat the poaching of South Africa's endangered black rhinos.

The World Bank’s Rhino Bonds will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (Wall Street) in the United States of America from 31 March 2022. In preparation since 2019, these debt instruments for the protection of South Africa’s black rhinos will be issued for a total amount of $150 million. The bond, which matures in 2027, will be sold at 94.84% of its face value, providing investors with a guaranteed minimum return at maturity.

The return on this bond is subject to a performance requirement in the preservation of the species, i.e. only if the population of black rhinos in South Africa increases. In addition, if successful, the subscribers of these Rhino Bonds will also receive a share of the 13.8 million dollars from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Endangered black rhinos

The funds raised from this operation will be allocated to two South African national parks. Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) in the south of the country and the Great Fish River Nature Reserve (GFRNR) in the south-east.

Read also-SOUTH AFRICA: A new initiative to strengthen the protection of rhinos

The black rhino impact bond could be extended to other species, as the Rhino Bond’s initiators have hinted. The choice of the black rhino may also be due to the fact that the pachyderm is a favourite target of poachers. In South Africa, the government counted 702 rhinos killed by poachers in 2016, 458 of them in the Kruger National Park alone. A reserve the size of Belgium (over 30,600 km2), which concentrates the largest rhino population in the world. These animals are hunted for their horns, which are sold in powder form for several thousand euros a gram in Vietnam and China, where traditional beliefs attribute to them supposed virtues such as curing cancer and improving virility.

Boris Ngounou 

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