The centre was originally established as a small unit whose goal was inspirational, initiating and coordinating activities in pedagogic and research processes in the environmental field at Charles University. After more than 20 years the centre grew into an extensive team with more than 20 employees concentrated in three different departments. Its current status no longer corresponded to the wide range of activities it engages in, either in the research field or in fulfilling study programmes, and it was for this reason that an organisational change to a university institute was made.
The change of organizational incorporation from "other workplace" to "university institute" will bring improved conditions, both qualitative and quantitative, for participation in teaching, especially in the supervision of doctoral students who will be able to contribute more to the scientific output of the centre. It will also support the centre’s ambition to work together in future with Charles University faculties on the accreditation and implementation of a joint Master's programme. It will also assist the growth of scientific output. The establishment of an institute will thus also strengthen the position of the centre in working with a wide range of partners on research and applications. And it will improve its capability in working with foreign partners, and more generally its fundamental position in encouraging transdisciplinary research in the environmental field.
The transformation of the centre into a university institute hence significantly assists in the development of a knowledge base in the socio-economic context of the environment that is essential for the effective protection of nature and to ensure sustainable development. The change becomes effective as of 1 July 2014.