Thérèse Coffey learns about the Rhino Impact Investment Project from Kenya Wildlife Service

Rhino Investment Project
Thérèse Coffey and Nic Hailey learn about the Rhino Investment Project. Photo: Twitter/HCNicHailey

Yesterday morning, UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Thérèse Coffey learnt about the Rhino Impact Investment (RII) Project co-funded by her department which aims to bring private investment into measures designed to increase rhino numbers in Kenya’s Tsavo region.

The project is an initiative of United for Wildlife (UfW), and brings together seven of the world’s leading wildlife charities, including the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

UfW is working to combat illegal wildlife trade through supporting and implementing projects on all aspects of illegal wildlife trade, from strengthening protection on the ground to reducing consumer demand, and increasing interventions along transport routes.

In each case, UfW is working to create long-term solutions that both reduce the imminent threat from illegal wildlife trade and build the capacity required for sustained recovery of livelihoods and biodiversity.

Improving on-site protection is an immediate priority of UfW, in order to gain a foothold in the fight to disassemble illegal wildlife trade.

The RII Project offers a select group of donors and investors the opportunity to be a part of the first mechanism pioneering the use of innovative finance for rhino conservation. Interested donors have an opportunity to direct long-term funding to protected areas demonstrating ongoing effective conservation – thereby maximising the cost-effectiveness of conservation funding.

Implementation of the Rhino Impact Investment Project is led by ZSL and the Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, the UK Government through the IWT Challenge Fund, UfW and ZSL.

In Kenya, the Rhino Impact Investment Project’s Implementation Partner is the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

The Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal also visited the Kenya Wildlife Service forensic lab with UK High Commissioner Nic Hailey before leaving for Uganda.