Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, OndoState, Nigeria.
National development is the ability of a nation to improve the lives of its citizens through the provision of good nutrition and social amenities like quality education, potable water, good roads and medical care. Sustainable forest management is the process of managing forest resources to meet the forest resources needs of the present generation while not compromising the ability of the forest to meet the forest resources needs of the future generation. Sustainable forest management has great potentials in ensuring national development through improving agricultural production system, increasing food production, increasing income earnings of the people, provision of medicinal materials and improving the well-being of the people. However the problems of deforestation and illegal felling have been reducing the potentials of sustainable forest management towards contributing to the national of the country. It is in view of this that this paper examined the ways by which the potentials of sustainable forest management in promoting national development can be harnessed. These ways include; involvement of rural dwellers in forest protection, organizing workshops for dealers in forest products, improved forestry extension, encouraging the practice of forest certification, promoting tree planting, establishment of communal woodlot and promoting agroforestrypractices.
Key words: Sustainable Forest Management, National Development, Forestry Extension, Forest protection and Forest Certification.