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The Sultanate of Oman, under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, has been in the forefront of establishing sound environmental policies in the Arabian Gulf region. Although the country boasts of a relatively pristine environment, its low population and limited scale of industrialization and, its environmental consciousness has resulted in the formulation and implementation of numerous policies that ensures a clean environment for the future. Similarly several landmark studies on environmental problems conducted in the Sultanate, such as the White Oryx reintroduction, have gained international recognition. 

Environmental research in the Sultanate are undertaken by the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and atleast five different ministries of the Government beside the private sector - especially companies whose activities have a vast potential for environmental impacts. However, these research activities remain isolated and there was a lack of co-ordination between these institutions. Therefore, there was a need for establishing an organization to promote and co-ordinate environmental studies and research in the Sultanate. A proposal submitted to Sultan Qaboos University in June 1999 appealed for the establishment of a Centre for Environmental Studies and Research (CESAR) to fulfil this role. His Excellency, the Vice-Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University, after the approval by the University Council, established the Center for Environmental Studies and Research (CESAR) and appointed its first Director on 16 October 2000.