In 1971, by initiative of Academician V. E. Zuev a Decree of the Presidium SB AS USSR No. 341 dated October 15, 1971 was issued on organization of a Special Design Bureau «Optika» for Scientific Instrument-making (SDB «Optika») under supervision of the Institute of Atmospheric Optics SB AS USSR. The main goal of the SDB was development of modern experimental instrumentation for provision of fundamental research in atmospheric optics. Over the period from 1972 to1990, in collaboration with IAO SB AS USSR many instruments were developed for in-situ measurements of aerosol, gas, turbulent, and other atmospheric parameters, including ground-based, airborne and spaceborne lidars. Within the same period, material and technical pool (working area of 30 thou. m2) was created.
According to the Decree of the Presidium SB RAS No. 60 dated February 25, 1992, SDB «Optika» was reorganized to the Design and Technology Institute «Optika» (DTI «Optika») as a part of the United Institute of Atmospheric Optics SB RAS. Successful development of basic research in DTI «Optika» made grounds for reorganization of DTI «Optika» into the Institute of Optical Monitoring having status of an academic institution. The decision was made in the process of accreditation in Siberian Branch of RAS and in Department of Oceanology, Atmospheric Physics and Geography RAS (the Decree of Presidium SB RAS No. 351 dated September 09, 1997).
In 2003, in an effort to advance investigations of climatic and ecological systems and their interrelations, as well to restructure the institutions in SB RAS, Presidium SB RAS decided to join Tomsk Affiliation of V. N. Sukachev Institute of Forest SB RAS to the Institute of Optical Monitoring SB RAS and rename the latter to become the Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems (the Decree of Presidium SB RAS No. 245 dated July 07, 2003).