Biodiversity risk and opportunity assessment helps our companies identify biologically sensitive sites
Our biodiversity risk and opportunity assessment tool was developed by the Biodiversity Partnership to help our companies identify, assess and address risks arising from their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity and ecosystems in and around their leaf-growing operations.
By the end of 2010, all our tobacco leaf growing operations had completed assessments and initiatives are now in place to address the issues identified.
We make sure that the assessments and the actions taken encourage cooperation with local stakeholders and don’t just focus on tobacco. Collaboration with the people living and working in the agricultural landscapes or organisations like our Biodiversity Partnership or local NGOs is often required for these initiatives.
Examples of initiatives underway are replanting trees to address water supply issues in a watershed catchment of the Indonesian island of Lombok; farmers in Uzbekistan being helped to improve soil management through green manuring and crop rotation; and a Ugandan project to restore and manage forest and freshwater health.
For more information, please visit the Biodiversity Partnership website .
Updating the tool
In 2011, we revised the biodiversity risk and opportunity assessment tool with our Biodiversity Partnership, with input from external experts. The revised version of the tool should give us a more consistent approach to the assessments across the globe.
It was field tested in Vietnam in early 2012 and has now been rolled out to all our tobacco growing operations. We expect the next round of assessments to be completed by the end of 2014.
Sharing the tool
We have made the assessment tool freely available on the Biodiversity Partnership website to encourage other tobacco and agricultural businesses to adopt a similar approach.