This notice is for informational purposes only. There is no requirement to consult on this initiative on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. Learn more about the types of notices on the registry.
Why consultation isn't required
No regulatory changes are being proposed at this time, therefore public consultation is not required under the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993.
We are posting this notice for information purposes to inform the public that we are reviewing implementation of Ontario’s Independent Forest Audit regulation (Ontario Regulation 319/20) and we are providing interested parties with an opportunity to provide input.
If we propose environmentally significant regulatory changes in the future, we will post a proposal to the Environmental Registry of Ontario for consultation.
Overview of independent forest audits
- independent forest audits are an important part of sustainable forest management in Ontario. They provide an independent assessment of whether public forests are being managed sustainably
- each of the province’s management units is audited at least once every 10–12 years to examine the performance of the forest industry, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (the ministry)
- the Independent Forest Audit program is conducted in partnership between the ministry and the Forestry Futures Committee
- Independent auditors are contracted yearly to complete the scheduled audits and must have a registered professional forester on their audit team
- the auditors collect evidence by reviewing documents, conducting interviews and visiting sites in the forest. They evaluate if forest management planning, operations, monitoring and reporting activities:
- followed provincial laws and approved direction and standards
- succeeded in achieving the planned results
- provided forest sustainability for the management unit
- met the conditions of the licence
Ontario Regulation 319/20: Independent Forest Audits
- Ontario Regulation 319/20, under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994 sets out the requirements for Independent Forest Audits
- it applies to all management units in which forest operations are carried out and that are subject to the ministry’s Forest Management Planning Manual
- the regulation requires the ministry to review implementation of the regulation at least once every 10 years and consult the public while conducting the review
- the regulation was reviewed by a third-party in 2001, 2006, and 2011. The report from the 2011 review is available here. The regulation was last reviewed by the ministry in 2013, as part of the Independent Forest Audit Modernization project. This review determined key policy changes to modernize the program. The ministry consulted with the public throughout the modernization project through workshops, interviews, and meetings with key stakeholders.
- the regulation was last amended on July 1, 2020 (ERO notice 019-1006).
The 2022-23 review
- since the last review was completed in 2013 it’s again time to review implementation of the Independent Forest Audit regulation
- the review will provide insight into how the regulation is working, and the extent that it achieves intended objectives
- the review will help determine if we need to adapt the program and if we need to consider future regulatory or policy changes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the independent forest audits
- the Ontario Internal Audit Division is conducting this review. Once their report is completed it will be made available to the public on Ontario.ca
Opportunity to provide input
- if you have recent experience with the Independent Forest Audit program and you want to provide input, please contact Ngaire Roubal (Ngaire.email@example.com) for more information
- no regulatory changes are being proposed at this time
- if we propose environmentally significant regulatory changes in the future, we will post a proposal to the Environmental Registry of Ontario for consultation
View materials in person
Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.
Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.
70 Foster Drive
Sault Ste Marie, ON
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