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 promote and facilitate teaching, research, advocacy and life styles and to undertake consultancies in the areas of environmental studies and sustainable development.
  • To offer post graduate, graduate, diploma and certificate programmes and standalone courses and conduct training in the areas linked to environmental studies and sustainable development.
  • To facilitate individual and collaborative environment and sustainability related research by pooling research projects, by forming research teams and by raising funds.
  • To coordinate advocacy on nationally important sustainable themes.
  • To coordinate multidisciplinary resources for teaching, research and advocacy.
  • To take steps to make the Open University a green university and to promote sustainable life styles among academic, student and non-academic communities within the university .
  • To provide consultancy services on environment and sustainability related issues .
  • To build partnerships with international institutes to achieve above objectives .
Our target group includes personnel from state agencies and non-governmental organizations, members of the public as well as the private sector, engineers, lawyers, environmentalists, ecologists, biologists and those involved in the environment conservation as educators, communicators, and also any person interested in environmental issues and conservation.