Rhino Impact Investment (RII): An Innovative Financing Mechanism for Site-Based Rhinoceros Conservation

Lead country

New York - GEF

Participating countries


Project status


Implementing period

From March 11, 2016 to November 18, 2020

SDGs addressed by this project

SDG targets

  1. 15.a Mobilize resources for biodiversity conservation, sustainable use
  2. 15.7 End wildlife poaching, illegal species trafficking

Project ID: 5382

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Technical team

  • Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme

Technical area(s)

  • Ecosystem management and restoration
  • Strengthening conservation areas


  • Biodiversity financing
  • Wildlife conservation


  • Conserved areas


  • Key biodiversity areas (KBAs)

Transformed sector(s)

  • Other sectors

UNDP role(s)

  • Policy advice
  • Thought leadership
  • Convening / Partnerships / Knowledge Sharing


  • Management operation
  • Governance
  • Finance economy


  • Management effectiveness (METT)
  • Wildlife and habitat conservation
  • Partnerships
  • Inter-sectoral coordination
  • Nature finance
  • New/other financial schemes/mechanism
  • Awareness raising

Social inclusion

  • Private sector

Gender equality


Gender result effectiveness scale

  • Gender responsive


  • Systems pathway

Risk reduction target(s)

  • Reduce exposure
  • Improve resilience

SDG target(s)

  • 15.a Mobilize resources for biodiversity conservation, sustainable use
  • 15.7 End wildlife poaching, illegal species trafficking

Conventions and protocols

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs)

Private sector(s)


Hot topic

  • Public-private partnership

About this project


This project addresses the global environmental problem of the illegal hunting and poaching of rhinoceros and the resulting risks to rhinoceros population growth and persistence. The main threat to rhinoceros conservation is caused by the increasing demand and very high prices being paid for rhinoceros horn, which fuels escalating poaching. In Vietnam, retail prices of USD 50,000 to USD 65,000 per kg have been quoted in the media, which is higher than the price of gold. Demand for illegal wildlife products is reportedly increasing in Southeast Asia due in part to the region's economic boom and resulting affluence . Vietnam imported USD 10 billion worth of luxury products in 2010 and the current trade in rhinoceros horn reflects this new consumption pattern. The demand for rhinoceros horn in Vietnam will continue to rise as its economy grows and more people can afford this high-status commodity.


To demonstrate a scalable outcomes-based financing mechanism that directs additional private and public sector funds to improve management effectiveness of priority rhino populations.

USD $1,821,500

Grant amount

USD $6,414,000

Leveraged amount (co-financing)


Source(s) of fund

Sources of fund


  • Global Environment Facility – Trust Fund ($1,821,500)

Implementing partner(s)

  • The Zoological Society of London

Project metrics

Related resources

Geospatial information

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Project reports and documentation