World leaders may be descending on Paris for the start of COP 21 and the most important climate negotiations to date, but around the planet individuals have been working on the front lines of climate change for years.

Starting over five years ago, Maxime Riché and a team of photographers and photojournalists set out to share their stories. The resulting Climate Heroes video series takes viewers on a tour of environmental challenges and solutions with a close-up look at 35 people and projects from all corners of the globe.

The video above features Venerable Bun Saluth, a pioneer in Cambodia’s Buddhist environmental movement. In 2002 he worked to legally protect 18,261 hectares (45,124 acres) of evergreen forest now known as the Rukhavon Monk Forest Community in Oddar Meanchey Province in Cambodia. In the years since, monks across the country have been inspired by his accomplishment and are now working with local communities to limit deforestation and stop environmental destruction.

Saluth’s final message in the video is one that can easily be extended to other people, places and climate-change-related challenges: “Please help inspire others to preserve the forest here and around the world.” View Ensia homepage