bat biodiversity partnership - Partnership events

The Biodiversity Partnership is engaging with a range of organisations and forums on business and biodiversity, and the BROA tool in use outside the tobacco sector. In this section of the website we look at the events the biodiversity partnership has taken part in.

Landscape Approaches to Sustainability in Agricultural Landscapes: Using the Biodiversity Risk and Opportunity Assessment (BROA) Tool

At Upton Farm in the Cotswolds on 26th and 27th September 2013, 17 participants representing businesses, NGOs and government agencies, including members of the British American Tobacco Biodiversity Partnership, met to discuss landscape approaches to addressing sustainability in agricultural landscapes. The purpose of the event was to facilitate business to business and multi-sector discussions to explore the advantages and constraints of adopting beyond-farm, landscape-level approaches to address issues around biodiversity and ecosystem services. The event also introduced the Biodiversity Risk & Opportunity Assessment (BROA) tool as an effective, tested method for providing solutions at a landscape level.

Adopting a landscape approach

Participants discussed the advantages and challenges for organisations and businesses with agricultural supply-chains in adopting a landscape approach to addressing environmental issues. The main advantages outlined during discussion included increased security of supply of goods and services through stakeholder alignment, increased knowledge (through internal capacity and knowledge networks), efficiencies of scale and the ability to identify and address impacts and dependencies beyond the farm level or area of business operation. The challenges outlined included uncertain quantifiable benefits to business, limited case studies, escalation of stakeholder issues and complexity. A lack of consensus and understanding around key terms was identified as a potential constraint in communicating the issues and potential solutions within organisations and across diverse stakeholder groups.

Comment and feedback on the BROA process

The participants were introduced to the BROA tool  and discussed the process, its applicability in different geographical and commodity contexts, it’s applicability across different supply-chain companies and factors that could encourage or constrain its adoption by organisations. It was concluded that BROA could be used by companies at any position in an agricultural commodity supply chain (from producer to retailer) that wish to question and address the sustainability of the production side of their business. BROA’s applicability for use by any group with a stake in the sustainability of agricultural activity such as cooperatives, governmental or third sector organisations was also discussed in view of BROA’s flexibility as a tool.

Participants discussed what BROA can and cannot do, particularly in relation to broad-scale climate issues and social issues not closely related to ecosystem services. It was highlighted how BROA could be used to complement and align with other approaches, for example allowing a company to transparently address issues required by certification criteria and to go beyond these criteria where reputational, legal and operational sustainability issues are of relevance.