The Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI) was established on 1st October 1994 as a multidisciplinary institute within the structure of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. It fulfills the aspirations of the university, as envisioned by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to realise the goal of sustainable development through research and capacity development.
LESTARI was also established to serve as a reference centre capable of dealing with environment and development issues, assisting government in formulating policies based on research of a holistic and balanced kind. The development function is directed towards enhancing human resource capacity through skill development and training, for both government and private sectors.
LESTARI aims to be the centre of excellence in research and training on matters pertaining to environment and development in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific.
1. As a reference point, addressing issues pertaining to sustainability in development.
2. As a focal point, conducting multi-disciplinary and integrated research in balancing synergies and trade-offs between environment and development.
3. As a primary mover, influencing policy and building capacity to meet the aspirations of sustainable development.