Wild equities

The future of Conservation

Imagine any individual or company could invest directly into wildlife conservation and see a return on their investment. Imagine that could be done without owning land or arranging logistics. Imagine that could be done from the comfort of your home or office.

Wild Equities is working towards making that idea a reality while benefiting members of a conservancy in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

How Wild equities can revitalize the local economy

Comprising 35000 hectares of remote rangelands in the Baviaanskloof, the Baviaanskloof Hartland Bewarea (BHB) conservancy offers the perfect opportunity for extensive wildlife management.  The main economic activity for the landowners in the Baviaanskloof involves livestock farming and cultivated crops. Most of the conservancy landscape consists of ‘back mountains’, which is hardly appropriate for any agricultural activities, therefore most agricultural activities only occur in the more accessible areas of the landscape. This poses a problem for the landowner whereby he/she is not able to utilise hard-to-access land to its full potential on an individual scale. However, these back mountains collectively offer prime habitat to wildlife and can therefore be utilised. Not only would the conservancy landowners benefit from wildlife in the back mountains, but so also would it create an opportunity for adventurous impact investors to own access to wildlife without the burden of having to own land or pay for operational costs.

Rewards of Investing in Baviaanskloof Conservancy

This concept of utilising the ‘inaccessible’ areas of the Baviaanskloof landscape was channelled into a business model to propose a solution to the aforementioned challenges for both the landowner and the investor. Essentially, the utilisation of the already existing wildlife as well as additional reintroductions of indigenous wildlife species in the conservancy will be the centre point for both the landowner and the investor in the business model. The landowner provides the land that can support the wildlife the investor wants to own, while the investor provides the capital for the landowner to manage the wildlife and generate an income thereof. The concept is based on a blended finance model with two major components based on two different initial funding needs: 1) a grant/donor funding component towards capital expenditure to establish the necessary infrastructure and 2) ongoing investment towards tradable stocks in game. Practically speaking, funds from 1) will be used for infrastructure such as fences, boma’s, water infrastructure and possibly wilderness hunting camps. In turn, funds from 2) will be used to procure game animals (e.g. Cape mountain zebra, Gemsbok etc.) with the aim of establishing populations for rewilding, breeding and off-take towards the game meat industry.

Why Invest in Wilde equities - A look at the disruptive initiatives

The proposed business model aims to create value on social, economic as well as ecological levels and in doing so add to the resilience of livelihoods in the landscape. “We want to test if this idea can become a 4 Returns (natural capital, financial capital, social capital, and inspiration) business case for the conservancy”. “We envisage returns for the conservancy members whose property is being utilised based on wildlife habitat, non-member residents benefiting from a stronger local economy, inspiration through monitoring to the granters and donors, and financial returns to the stock investors”.

Reflections and Future Outlook

A small number of Cape mountain zebras were the first species to be introduced, which has been an exciting step in making this business model more tangible. As a team we hope to give this idea the best we can to realise it into a viable business. In the meanwhile, we have gained valuable exposure and knowledge through the SOWC Incubator Programme and look forward to finishing strong!

Co-Founders

Justin Gird

Justine Rudman

Luyanda Luthuli