Ducks are paddling around in a pool of water near Sun Paper Holdings Laos Co., Ltd (Sun Paper Laos), and moving closer, you even can see beautiful goldfish swimming in the pond.

Don’t mistake it for a natural pond; it is the drainage outlet of Sun Paper Laos which is a wholly-owned company of Shandong Sun Paper Group, one of China’s top 500 enterprises.

Located in Xepon, Savannakhet Province, some 410 km east of the Lao capital Vientiane, Sun Paper Laos has always attached great importance to local environment protection since it was established in 2008.

Chen Wenjun, general manager of the company, said that while ensuring all emission data meet requirements, keeping fish and ducks in the outlet has made locals and visitors to get a better understanding of the company’s efforts in environment protection.

Undertaking the “Forest-Pulp-Paper Integration” project in Laos, Sun Paper Laos has planted 32,000 hectares of pulp forest and 6,450 hectares of cooperative forest in the country since its operation more than a decade ago.

It has also used tree barks, wood chips and waste liquid to generate electricity for itself, and extra electricity has been sold to Electricite du Laos, the Lao electricity supply company, with 10 million kilowatt-hours monthly.

“Although there is some profit made from power generation, the construction cost of a power station is much higher,” Chen Wenjun said. He noted that what they want to achieve in doing so is waste utilisation and emission reduction so as to better protect environment.

Just like Sun Paper Laos, other Chinese enterprises in Laos under the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative also attach great importance to local environment protection while operating in the country.

The contractors of the six sections of the China-Laos railway project have been doing their best to build a “green railway” in the country since construction began in December 2016.

“Every Chinese railway engineering company has set up leading teams in charge of the environment protection, striving for construction progress and environment protection at the same time,” said Xiao Qianwen, a member of the joint working committee of the China-Laos railway.

In the northernmost section of the China-Laos railway, China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group (CREC-5) has planted various kinds of vegetation such as local ixora chinensis lam, winter jasmine, axonopus compressus and tea trees on roadbeds and tunnel slopes.

In the middle section, Sinohydro Bureau 10 Co., LTD is responsible for the construction of the fifth section.

As the project headquarters is located in Vang Vieng, a tourist town in Laos, the project base camp always ensures that construction and other activities do not affect local tourism and landscapes.

The sewage control system in the camp area is inspected and maintained by special personnel on a daily basis to ensure normal operation, and dustbins are well placed to facilitate collection of garbage there.

Effective sewage sedimentation tanks and clean-water reservoirs are built in concrete mixing stations as well as tunnels for sewage collection and treatment.

The sixth section of the southernmost part of the China-Laos railway, constructed by the CREC-2, is located in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

Based on the environment protection experience of the railway connecting two famous Chinese tourist cities – Hangzhou and Huangshan, Chinese builders here have made full use of local vegetation on both sides of the line when restoring ecological environment.

They have also creatively designed greening schemes at each station to realise harmony between greening effect and surrounding scenery.

Noting the fragile ecological environment along the China-Laos railway, Xiao said that the project has so far accomplished many “impossibles,” including in environment protection, in the eyes of local people.