The Research Institute of Environmental Law (RIEL) was co-founded by the National Environmental Protection Agency, the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences and Wuhan University in June 1981. It is the premier institution in China and the Asia-Pacific region dedicated to the study of environmental and natural resources law and policy. RIEL is the first institute in China specializing in teaching and researching environmental law. RIEL has been awarding Master’s degrees in environmental law since 1986, and doctoral degrees since 1998. RIEL was designated a National Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1999. RIEL’s research and teaching programs are supported by the RIEL Library and Information Centre for Environmental Law, which is the largest of its kind in China. RIEL’s library resources are supplemented by those of the Law School’s library and the University’s even more extensive library collection. The China Society of Environmental and Resource Law and its secretariat are based at RIEL. The first Director of RIEL was Professor HAN Depei, the pioneer and founder of environmental law in China. Other RIEL directors were Professor CAI Shouqiu, Professor XIAO Long’an and Professor WANG Shuyi. Professor QIN Tianbao is the current Director. RIEL is located on the 4th floor of Wuhan University’s School of Law building on the universitity’s main campus on the edge of East Lake in Wuhan City.