Deep in the Himalayas in the remote valley town of Leh, one local is teaching his neighbors how to protect their fragile ecosystem against a backdrop of increased tourism and a growing population.

Sat in the sunny courtyard of Mr Angchuk’s Goba Guest House in the narrow backstreets of Leh, our conversation is occasionally interrupted by a curious cow trying to nose its way through the gate. Each time, Mr. Angchuk jumps up to shoo it away.

Mr. Angchuk is my host in Leh, a town in the mountainous region of Ladakh in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. We’re talking about the Manali-Leh highway, one of the most dramatic roads in the world  that hugs the cliffs and ravines of the Himalayas in northern India. Sometimes rather precariously, too—three of the world’s highest roads pass this route.