british american tobacco p.l.c. sustainability report 2009 - Spotlight on Uganda

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SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2009

British American Tobacco Uganda’s trial of the biodiversity risk and opportunity assessment

All of our companies are required to complete the biodiversity risk and opportunity assessment by the end of 2010. It was first trialled by the British American Tobacco Biodiversity Partnership in Uganda in 2007-2008, mainly to assess any threats to biodiversity posed by tobacco leaf growing for our local company and to establish opportunities for corrective action plans.

The trial comprised:

  • A desk-based survey of potential threats to biodiversity;
  • Stakeholder consultation;
  • Site surveys by external biodiversity experts;
  • A review of existing management practices; and
  • A corrective action plan to mitigate risks identified by the process.

An important outcome was a stakeholder dialogue facilitated by the Tropical Biology Association, which brought together key British American Tobacco Uganda personnel, local NGOs and relevant specialists. This resulted in British American Tobacco Uganda setting up a strong working relationship with a local NGO that is now assisting the company and the farmers by monitoring land use, identifying changes in the growing region and finding ways to better manage natural forest resources. It is also helping the company to meet the Group target for reducing farmers’ use of natural forests for curing fuel.

Under the corrective action plan, British American Tobacco Uganda is now drawing on local expertise to help improve its understanding of freshwater management issues. Indicators for monitoring the health of freshwater ecosystems have been developed and tested by the company’s leaf managers. These will be further trialled and then shared with our other companies in the Africa and Middle East region.