The Independent Forest Audit (IFA) Program

The Forestry Futures Trust Committee has worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry since 1997 to deliver the annual Independent Forest Audit Program. The Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA), through Ontario Regulation 319/20, requires that each management unit in Ontario be audited at least once every ten to twelve years. The audits are conducted by independent audit firms selected through a competitive bidding process.  Both the Forest manager and the MNRF District is audited.


The purpose of the independent forest audit is to:

(a) assess the extent to which forest management and forest management planning activities in the management unit complied with,

(i) the Act and the regulations,

(ii) the manuals approved under subsection 68 (10) of the Act, and

(iii) any forest management plan approved under subsection 9 (1) of the Act that applied to the forest management activities during the forest audit period;

(b) assess the effectiveness of forest management activities in meeting the forest management objectives set out in the forest management plan;

(c) compare the forest management activities that were carried out with those that were planned;

(d) assess the effectiveness of any action plan implemented in the management unit in response to a previous forest audit report;

(e) review and assess a licensee’s compliance with the terms and conditions of a forest resource licence for the management unit by the licensee; and

(f) assess whether the management unit has been managed in a manner consistent with the principles of sustainability set out in subsection 2 (3) of the Act.

For more information regarding the conduct of the Independent Forest Audits refer to the MNRF website at:


Role of the Forestry Futures Trust Committee

The Forestry Futures Trust Committee has played a prominent role in the independent forest audit process since 1997. The Committee's mandate was greatly expanded in 2002, so that each year it will take the lead role in managing implementation of the Independent Forest Audit process. The Committee generally carries primary responsibility for applying the annual process from the point just after the selection of the audit firms, through to acceptance of final reports.



Number of audit reports completed and tabled between 1997 and 2019: 215

Total expenditures from the Forestry Futures Trust to support the Independent Forest Audit program between 1997 and 2019: $21,381,954


Audit Results

The Independent Forest Audits result in the production of a Final Report produced by the contracted audit firm.  This final report is shared with the forest managers, MNRF, the Local Citizens Committee and the Forestry Futures Trust Committee. Once accepted by the MNRF, the audit reports are available to the public.