Legado works to protect the world’s most threatened mountain ecosystems by empowering the people who call them home.

“It is the Namuli community itself that will create a future for Namuli. If communities assume the responsibility for the management of resources and commit to sustainable use then they will ensure the survival of generations to come. My work is to support this future.”

Domingos Dos Reis
Legado: Namuli Lead Field Technician

Dear Legado Community,

Welcome to our 2017 Legado Annual Report. We’ve enjoyed assembling this visual and narrative journey to highlight the significant impact you’ve made in people’s lives and in the future of mountain ecosystems, by your generous contribution to Legado this year.

In 2017 your investment in Legado resonated on Mount Namuli in Mozambique and beyond. Mountains are complex places and demand innovation to live within them and to sustain their vital ecosystems. Many of us are lucky to know this first hand — from living in the mountains ourselves or traveling amidst them.

Your generous support enables Legado to protect these mountains hand in hand with mountain communities every day. From supporting a woman in the Murrabué community to take her first position in local government to establishing Namuli as a priority investment for the European Union, together we’re making grassroots global.

With deep gratitude,

Majka Burhardt
Founder + Executive Director

“Protecting the Mount Namuli ecosystem is a global conservation priority, and one which Legado has consistently championed. The determination of the Legado team and their partners to work side by side with local communities to protect this critical mountain habitat is vital to securing this stronghold for biodiversity.”

James P. Lewis
Director of Africa Conservation

Rainforest Trust

2017: A Year in Review

With your generous support, in 2017 we equipped new leaders, trained communities, shifted behaviors, and took vital steps towards protecting Mount Namuli in the following ways:

Investing in Local Leaders + Community Governance

In partnership with local leaders, we created natural resource governance committees in six different communities, impacting over 5,000 Namuli community members. Each of these committees are currently participating in governance and leadership training in order to direct their communities’ natural resource management plan and concur on their desired socio-economic assistance levels.

Building our Own Capacity

This year Legado: Namuli established an office in Gurue, Mozambique as the central base for our field operations on Namuli. We also hired a full time program manager, Marcos Assane, to lead the field team based in Gurue. And, we added five new members to our field team, including two women, to increase our reach and depth of expertise.

Changing Attitudes + Behavior

What do a song, a puppet show and conservation have in common? Everything when it comes to mountain conservation. In September, we teamed up with Rare, a conservation organization with 25 years of conservation driven behavior change experience in over 50 countries, to host a Campaigning for Conservation program on Namuli. Using tools like song, puppets and dialogue, this training was designed to support the local communities’ behavior adaptation with a goal of stopping the deforestation of critical rainforests on Namuli. Listen to the new hit Namuli song below.

Namuli, The Film

Namuli, the film, continued its world tour in 2017 and has now been featured at film festivals in six continents, 12 countries and over 40 events. 2017 also saw Namuli released on PBS across the USA from New Mexico to Vermont, Minnesota to Washington.

Expanding Conservation Agriculture Training + Practices

We expanded on our successful 2016 permagardening training and grew our agriculture program by partnering with key farmers within each Namuli community. These local farmers linked up with our field team to create six unique demonstration fields around the mountain to showcase to other farmers the efficiency and effectiveness of permagardening, resulting in increased yields for large crop fields. These farmers will be the founding members of the forthcoming Agricultural Cooperatives which will ensure that  communities can collectively bargain for a fair price for their produce.

Growing through Legacy Leadership and Skills Development Trainings

Our field team grew their leadership, communication and project management skills through two significant trainings. Through the Lightyear Leadership program, our field staff were supported in their journey to identify, believe in and act upon their own personal and collective legacy. This training laid the groundwork for a larger 2018 training and was essential to equipping our team members to cultivate their best selves and to transform their communities. In an additional training session, Wildteam UK shared best practices in project management for wildlife conservation with our team. Both of these trainings were the first of their kind in Mozambique and played a key role in continuing to build our field team’s confidence and capacity.

Continuing to Make Outreach and Awareness a Priority

The EU has identified Mount Namuli as one of four key conservation areas in Mozambique and will be committing funds in 2018 to support the socioeconomic activities that are integral to empowering Namuli communities with alternative livelihoods to slash and burn agriculture in the upper elevation rainforests. This partnership and funding will play a critical role in Legado’s ongoing development work on Namuli.

Our Jump Start with Google

In November, Legado was the recipient of a Jump Start grant from Google to create new virtual reality media.

Jump Start is run by Google to connect creators with virtual reality (VR) cameras and to amplify their content. It was established to literally ‘Jump Start’ creators in the realm of stereoscopic VR video by providing access to Google VR’s Jump technology.

Google’s Jump cameras are at the forefront of VR technology.  The Jump camera rig consists of 16 camera modules in a circular array to provide an unparalleled 360-degree experience to the viewer. The size of the rig and the arrangement of the cameras are optimized to work with the Jump assembler  (the program that stitches all the images together into a VR film).

In partnership with filmmaker Ross Henry, we’re currently putting the finishing touches on a story about the power of one mountain and its water — tracking the journey of water from the rainforests on top of Mt. Namuli all the way to the Indian Ocean— 200 miles away. Ross spent three weeks in 2017 with our field team on Namuli and captured incredible footage of the mountain and the people who call it home.

The completed film will be available in the summer and will be featured on YouTube through Google’s Jump Start program.

Filimonio: Leading Change in his Community

“Namuli’s future depends on the communities themselves”

Filimonio Felizardo Jonasse was born on the southeast flank of Mount Namuli, in the Murrabué community. His family, like the majority of those living on Namuli, depends entirely on agricultural activity for income and food.

Like many of his friends, Filimonio walked four kilometers every day to get to and from his elementary school.

Unlike many of his friends, Filiminio was able to attend secondary school due to his keen interest in agriculture and his parents’ dedication to his education.

“At that time there were a lot of NGOs like World Vision who worked in Murrabué in the area of ​​agriculture,” he remembers. “It inspired me to look more into the science of agriculture and it captivated my interest.”

Filimonio went on to study at the Agrarian Institute of Gurué, the nearest city to Namuli with education beyond primary school ­— 30 kilometers from his home. He was inspired by the hope that if he could learn enough, he would be able to support his parents and his entire community to become more productive farmers.

It was one day at school that he stumbled upon Legado: Namuli — our flagship project in Mozambique.

“I learned that Legado existed to to support my community in the sustainable management of natural resources,” he reflects. “But not just for the benefit of a big company — but for the benefit of our communities themselves.”

“While many community members were skeptical, I was very impressed,” he says. “At the same time, Legado was looking for a new team member so I applied. I was hoping to be able to use this position to influence a change of attitude of the people of my community and to rally their support.”

“What we know is that there are big changes happening on Mount Namuli,” Filimonio explains. “The trees are ending, some species of animals no longer exist, rains fall irregularly, tourism is increasingly weak. However, with the implementation of Legado’s plan, we will be able to recover and sustain a healthy level of biodiversity.”

“With Legado, I can see us minimizing the problems facing Mount Namuli and also to teaching future generations the best practices of land cultivation. I wanted to be part of the team as a way to ensure the well-being of the communities for future generations.”

Filimonio joined our Legado: Namuli Field Team in 2017. He helps create and implement the Thriving Livelihoods Program on Namuli every day.

We Are All Connected: Polly’s Story

Polly Pearson is one of those people that you want on your team. She’s sharp and quick, and her wide-ranging of expertise and interests makes her an adventurous companion and a fierce ally. “I’m a mom, a calculus teacher, a farmer, a wife, a climber, a world traveller, and nature-lover,” Polly says. She is also an avid supporter of Legado: both as one of our loudest and proudest cheerleaders, and as a generous donor.

“I am a donor to Legado because I believe in what the team is doing,” she says. “It takes resources and it takes commitment from all of us to make significant change in the world and I believe in the change Legado is trying to make.” For Polly, the work Legado does merges many of her great loves.

“I love mountains, I love climbing, and I love the push to preserve the places in our world that are being destroyed,” Polly explains.“However, in protecting these places you can’t just shove the people who live there aside. Legado is incorporating the need to save ecosystems while also recognizing the balance that must be struck with the local people’s dependence on that ecosystem for life. With Legado, there’s a true commitment to finding a solution that addresses all of it — they’ve considered and committed to answers that take into account the people and the place.”

When asked why she gives to a community that is so far away from home in Nebraska, in the center of the United States, the answer is simple. “I’ve been around the world and I realize how intertwined we all are,” she says candidly. “The world is so small. If Namuli’s ecosystem is destroyed in Mozambique, ours will be as well. We are all connected and community investment and giving needs to reflect that awareness.”


From a teenager raising over $3,000 via a climbing fundraiser to a three-year investment from Rainforest Trust, we had a number of very generous donors provide significant support to help us continue our conservation and community-building work in Mozambique.

This past year we also obtained our 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS and began accepting donations directly, instead of through a fiscal sponsor.

Here’s a snapshot of our financials from 2017.



2018: Where We’re Going

In 2018 Legado’s top priority is advancing our Thriving Futures Program with the people of Mount Namuli.

What makes a thriving future? We believe that answer lies in the trifecta of thriving communities, livelihoods, and biodiversity. That’s why our work is centered around supporting Namuli to be a community where people are excelling socially and economically while living in harmony and nature with surrounding biodiversity.

2018 will see an acceleration of this work on Namuli alongside our broader initiatives around the world. Together, we will continue to prioritize site-scale, locally lead, and locally driven mountain conservation.

Here is a snapshot of where we’re going together in 2018:

Co-creating a Conservation Agreement with the communities of Namuli. This agreement serves as a key short-term solution to ensure the protection of vital biodiversity in exchange for much needed development benefits like education, health, and solar power. This agreement creates the necessary partnerships with local communities to then work together on longer term solutions which ensure the health of the mountain ecosystems alongside the thriving future of the mountains’ communities.

Expanding our leadership program by hosting our third Lightyear Leadership training in Mozambique, this time with over 80 Namuli community members, partners and other stakeholders. Lightyear’s experience in training other communities like Mount Namuli’s has demonstrated that individuals actively engaged in creating their own vision and goals are more likely to apply these tools to the benefit of the groups and organizations that they belong to, thereby creating healthy conditions for collective ownership.

Introducing communities to novel conservation agriculture approaches to conserve water and increase soil fertility using natural methods and facilitating the creation of community agricultural cooperatives such that communities can get a fair price for their bulk production.

Partnering across government, organizational, non-profit and corporate lines to strengthen our relationships to support resource sharing for remote mountain rainforest conservation.

Together, a thriving future for the world’s most threatened mountain ecosystems and the people who call them home is possible. We look forward to all the steps we’ll take together towards realizing that future this year.

Legado Is Backed By the Best

Legado is supported by a variety of generous funders, corporate partners, and private donors.

Jane B Cook Memorial Trust

Previous support from: