New Fundraising Initiative To Save Namibia's Rhinos

21 May 2024

Namibia is home to a population of free roaming black rhinos in the north-western areas, and the Save The Rhino Trust (SRT) has since many years been involved in their protection. This is mainly done through foot patrols over very rough terrain by members of the local communities as part of the community game guard programme.     

In order to raise more funds for the costly patrols and logistics, the SRT has recently introduced a rhino guardianship certificate programme in partnership with Wadappt, that aims to fund conservation efforts. These certificates are sold and directly contribute to rhino guardianship programs by funding crucial resources like ranger salaries and fuel.

Wadappt offers a financing mechanism that converts nature-positive outcomes into tradable certificates, thereby mitigating the risks. Sellers can continue their work, and buyers can receive digital assets such as rhino guardianship certificates to prove their contributions.

Each certificate funds a rhino tracker for a month. These rangers patrol and look after the largest free-roaming population of black rhino in the world. One certificate costs 800 US dollars.

“Wadappt is a pioneering solution in sustainable finance that enables businesses and investors to manage nature risk and drive positive environmental change," says David Wood, founder and chief executive officer of the Cape Town based company Wadappt.

Marlize Horn (2nd from left) of the Capricorn Foundation at the launch of the certificates with representatives of the SRT and Wadappt.
Photo: Capricorn 
  

 

The Capricorn financial group in Namibia has through its foundation invested in the innovative rhino guardianship certificate programme.

"The Capricorn Foundation is excited to be one of the first organisations in Namibia to purchase the certificate. It enables us to contribute positively to conservation efforts and align with our sustainability focus area," said Marlize Horn, Executive Officer of the Capricorn Foundation.

"The initiative's incentivisation system motivates these rangers to improve rhino protection by measuring metrics such as rhino sightings, diversity of individual animals observed, distance covered on patrols, and days spent in the field. With this system, rangers are encouraged to increase their positive patrol efforts, thus enhancing the safety of these beautiful creatures," she added.

This initiative is significant as blockchain technology is being used for the first time to verify conservation performance. This provides buyers with the assurance that their contributions directly support practical conservation outcomes.

The Rhino Guardianship Certificate is a unique initiative to safeguard the world's largest free-roaming herd of black rhinos in Namibia by supporting the Khoisan community and anti-poaching rangers. By purchasing these certificates, individuals and organisations can contribute towards conserving critically endangered species and supporting the indigenous communities dedicated to protecting these animals.

At the official launch event for the rhino guardianship certificate recently held in Windhoek, attendees heard firsthand about the importance of SRT's work to protect the black rhinos in north-western Namibia.

Brigitte Weidlich

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