1. Independent Forest Audit overview
1.1 Legal requirement
The Independent Forest Audit Process and Protocol (IFAPP) provides guidance in meeting the requirements of Ontario Regulation 319/20 made under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA).
Independent forest audits (IFA) generally assess licence holder and ministry compliance with the Forest Management Planning Manual (FMPM) and the CFSA in conducting forest management planning, operations, monitoring and reporting activities. The audit also assesses the effectiveness of forest management activities in meeting the objectives set out in the forest management plan (FMP). The IFA provides an opportunity to improve Crown forest management in Ontario through adaptive management.
The specific objectives of the IFA are to:
- assess to what extent forest management planning activities comply with the CFSA and the FMPM
- assess to what extent forest management activities comply with the CFSA and with the forest management plans, the manuals approved under the CFSA and the applicable guides
- assess, using the criteria established for the audit, the effectiveness of forest management activities in meeting the forest management objectives set out in the forest management plan
- compare the planned forest management activities with actual activities undertaken
- assess the effectiveness of any action plans implemented to remedy shortcomings identified in a previous audit
- review and assess a licensee’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the forest resource licence
- provide a conclusion stating whether or not the forest is being managed consistently with principles of sustainable forest management
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