The Centre for Environmental Studies & Sustainable Development (CESSD) of the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) was established in 1998 having the primary aim of educating the environmental officers of the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) and the Ministry of Environment by offering Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. Since 2007 the CESSD offers the Master of Science degree Programme in Environmental Sciences which is designed and conducted by a team of outside experts and academics of faculties at the Open University, viz: Natural Sciences, Engineering Technology, Education and Humanities and Social Sciences.
The Master's Degree is designed to provide students with the interdisciplinary background and skills necessary to understand the environmental issues prevailing today. It emphasizes four general areas; humanities and social sciences, technology, education and natural sciences. Humanities and social sciences emphasizes the ethical, legal, economical, political and historical basis of the environmental concern. The Natural science focus includes the exploitation of the biological, physical, chemical nature of the environment and Technology deals with problem creations and problem solutions. Further the CESSD is addressing Environmental Pollution, Biodiversity Loss, Wildlife Conservation, Deforestation, Sustainable Development, Climate Change, Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Policies through researches, collaborative works with other agencies and events in the environmental arena.
- To prepare learners of environmental studies for livelihoods and careers by providing an understanding of human interactions with the natural and built environment by providing educational opportunities at undergraduate and graduate levels,
- To carry out basic and applied research covering physical, biological, social sciences and policy spheres,
- To provide expert advice and consultancy services public and private institutions operating at local, national and global levels,
- To foster relations and encourage collaborative efforts among members of the CESSD community within and outside the OUSL both nationally and internationally and,
- To establish effective communication and dissemination of new knowledge and skills to different stake holders including general public, academia and policy makers