The idea to established an environmental program was proposed as early as 1995 by Drs. Clarita P. Aganon and Fermina T. Rivera. This occurred after Dr. Aganon had successive trips to Israel, Germany and Taiwan. Jointly, they prepared a proposal entitled "Environmental Management Studies." However, the full-blown proposal did not get implemented except for its minor component that was integrated in the Agricultural Resources Research Division (ARRD) of the Research Office, then headed by Dr. Aganon.
Fortunately, in 1997, Senator Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. came to CLSU and took interest in the proposal that was revised in "Ramon Magsaysay - Center for Agricultural Resources and Environment Studies (RM-CARES)." Thus, the ARRD of the Research Office metamorphosed into the RM-CARES.