Summary: When the Zoological Society of London in July unveiled a $50m “rhino impact bond” the response was “off the charts”, according to Oliver Withers, the organisation’s head of conservation finance. “It got to the point that we were not in a position to handle all the queries,” he said of the ZSL. How conservation investment could be a lifeline for endangered species first such initiative dedicated to the protection of a species. “What it made clear to us is there is huge investor demand for conservation finance products.” The scheme, which uses the “outcome payments” model that has been used to finance health and education, rewards investors if rhino populations in five targeted areas in South Africa and Kenya increase over five years. Experts in conservation and finance say the reaction shows wildlife conservation finance, for decades largely the preserve of wealthy donors and governments, has massive potential to attract institutional investors, helped by growing public awareness of the delicate state of the planet.