Xialu, a 52 sq km Township in China's Zhejiang Province, has a population of 18,000. The township has made great socio-economic and environmental progress since the 1980s. Some of the achievements include the development of an environmental education programme to raise people's awareness of environmental issues, and the publication of a book entitled Ecological Construction. They have included environmental courses in all primary and middle schools, and have organized a number of activities such as ecological gardens and ecological farms. They have rehabilitated the forest and improved vegetation in the area by setting up forest management systems and reducing activities, which put pressure on forests. As a result, more than 70 per cent of the Township has been reforested and many of the animals have returned and the water quality has improved. In addition, experimental gardens using modern agricultural methods were established, and as a result soil fertility has improved and crops returned to the paddy fields. They also reduced the amount of pesticides used. The Township does not allow industries, such as tanneries, printing and dyeing mills and cement plants, which pollute heavily to be set up in the area. Waste from industry and the community are collected and recycled. All of these activities have improved the lives and increased the lifespan of the township's residents.