January- July 2023 UPDATE


- This Is Legado’s Reason For Being


Earth’s most important areas for biodiversity are under threat from climate change. Local and Indigenous communities steward 80% of these areas, yet their perspectives, knowledge and leadership are often not included in the designs of solutions.

As well, traditional development and conservation solutions that might support these communities often take on a sectorally siloed approach that doesn't address the interconnected nature of the challenges faced.

Until we support local communities to build their own systems to advance their communities on their terms across all of their priorities, one-off isolated solutions will continue to be unsustainable and ineffective and these communities and the land they steward will continue to experience the severest of consequences of climate change.


Legado supports Indigenous and local leadership by facilitating collective action that puts the power in the hands of the communities to design and achieve a Thriving Future. Doing this not only preserves and protects the ecologically fragile areas which are stewarded by local and Indigenous communities, but it also supports the autonomy and self-determination of those communities.


  • Legado supports local and Indigenous communities to first identify their cross-sectoral community priorities and then act to meet these priorities with the support of partners on their terms. The work, and result it creates, is a Thriving Future™.
  • The very process by which these priorities are identified is co-developed, informed by context and strengthened through capacity sharing.
  • Our model revolves around legacy as an activator for individual and collective agency and leadership + creates 360 community-led change.


Year 1: Local Communities Build a Thriving Future Plan

  • Community partnerships formed
  • Legacy planning underway to define Thriving Future and identify specific priorities
    Actions and commitments on initial priorities undertaken

Year 2 and Beyond: Local Communites Lead to Fulfill their Thriving Future Priorities

  • Implementation of current and emerging priorities
  • Alignment with current/future funding and partnership opportunities with a focus on sustainability
  • Ongoing community led- legacy building
  • Integration into district/regional plans through accompaniment
  • Annual review of legacy plan and Thriving Futures priorities to ensure relevance, identify new opportunities and support community cohesion.

JanUARY- July Highlights 

  • The Ngilai community in Northern Kenya is working with Legado to integrate their Legacy Plan into their Conservancy’s Management and Development Plan which is critical to ensuring funds from a major carbon sequestration program will be directed to their Thriving Future priorities. 

  • Our newest partnership to co-create Thriving Futures in Peru just expanded and now includes local and Indigenous communities stewarding the Megantoni National Sanctuary alongside the Machiguenga Communal Reserve. 

  • The Mucunha community on Mount Namuli, Mozambique completed their Legacy Plan and are in action on their priority of creating the first community health center in the region in tandem with the preservation of traditional medicinal plants and trees through conserving their forests

  • The Community Process Impact Coalition, whose creation was spearheaded by Legado, moved into action with a mission to make an equitable and inclusive community-led process the driver of holistic change that supports thriving people in thriving places.

Looking for a deeper dive on Thriving Futures?

Check out our newest deck here

Yaisim:Ngilai and Next Steps in Northern Kenya

Leveraging Legacy Plans to Support Community Development and Conservation

The way of talking about our community, our conservancy, and the good legacy we want is good because it gives us the know-how and opportunity to talk about the status of our conservancy and what we want for the future in our plan.
Sirei Lentukunye, Ndikir Village, Ngilai Wildlife Community Conservancy

Legado has a critically important opportunity to improve equity and inclusion in carbon-revenue sharing, one of the key issues of our time—and one that's extremely relevant to our partners in the Ngilai community in Northern Kenya. Ngilai is one of the participants in the Northern Kenya Grasslands Carbon Program, one of the largest carbon-sequestration programs in Africa. It is important that the Ngilai community directs how funds from these programs are utilized, and as such they are working with the Ngilai Board, partners at Northern Rangelands Trust, and Legado to integrate the community’s Legacy Plan (co-created with Legado in ‘21/’22) into the conservancy’s Management and Development Plan—the primary governing/management tool for the conservancy. The new hybrid Conservancy Legacy Management Plan will direct the conservancy’s annual operational plans and will drive requests for spending of revenues from carbon sequestration. This collaboration also sets the stage for co-creating Thriving Future programs with other communities across Northern Kenya.

An example of Legacy Plans in Action!

The Ngilai community also concurrently completed their first maternity shelter, furthering their goal to integrate traditional Samburu medicinal practices into existing health infrastructure (you can read a full update on the maternity shelter here). Additionally, Ngilai is advancing their rangelands priority by developing proposals to expand engagement in their grazing planning processes through including more voices, learning from their neighbors, and planning for rangeland management beyond their borders.


Futuros Vivos: Megantoni-Machiguenga | Peru

Leveraging Legacy Plans to Support Community Development and Conservation

Futuros Vivos: Megantoni-Machiguenga is a collaboration to co-create Thriving Futures with the local and Indigenous communities stewarding Peru’s Megantoni National Sanctuary (MNS) and Machiguenga Communal Reserve (MCR). This work comes at a critical time in the Andes Amazon, in supporting a locally led system for sustained collective action that fosters adaptability and resilience for meeting current and future challenges.

The Futuros Vivos Team Up Close:

Futuros Vivos: Megantoni-Machiguenga is a collaboration between the Megantoni-Machiguenga Multisectorial Team, made up of representatives from: Megantoni National Sanctuary (MNS) and Machiguenga Communal Reserve (MCR), the Unified Management committee for MNS and MCR, the ECA Maeni (Indigenous co-management body of MCR), COMARU (Indigenous Machiguenga Council of the Urubamba river), and other Indigenous and non-indigenous actors and Legado. Together, we’re adapting and using the Thriving Futures model to:

  • Create Legacy Plans that articulate the communities' vision for their future and priorities in a participatory manner
  • Integrate these into the management plans for MCR (co-managed with the ECA Maeni) and MNS, as well as into district and regional plans
  • Accompany communities as they implement the priorities in their plans.


Legacy Plans build on the Peruvian Planes de Vida (Life Plans) by bringing a larger and more diverse group of community members into the planning process, grounding the work in personal and community legacy, and supporting communities as they implement solutions prioritized in their plans and build capacity for collective action and sustained impact.
"The process to develop and implement Community Legacy Plans empowers individuals to guide their community toward real, self-defined development based on community assets and relationships. As co-managers along with our neighboring communities of the communal reserve and national sanctuary, Community Legacy Plans are crucial to our decision-making process and planning, as they contain the communities’ visions and priorities for their territory and landscape."
Casar Aliaga, Director of Megantoni National Sanctuary

Legado:Namuli | Mozambique

Setting the Course of Thriving Future Priorities

"Our community convening was very important. It brought together our group of 'promotores' (community teams), leaders, and other important people in our community. Now we feel we are making progress toward our community priorities. The most important thing we spoke about for me was how to improve the health of our community through the construction of a local health clinic [and other community-level actions]."
Felizardo Muroque, Niwiri Village, Mucunha community, Mount Namuli, Mozambique

Just completed: the community-designed Mucunha Community Crest

Community members in Mucunha discuss their legacy and plans for priority actions on Mount Namuli, Mozambique | Legado

The Mucunha community on Mount Namuli, Mozambique, is finalizing their Legacy Plan and priorities, each of which follows an intersectional pathway to ensure that community objectives are not siloed or oppositional but rather are holistically developed to serve people and place across health of both the land and people, education, culture, livelihoods, and systems of governance. Note that this process begins with broad-language priorities that are then refined into SMART goals. Mucunha’s initial priorities include:

  • “To improve the health of our community through the construction of our first local health clinic and the training of new community health workers in villages where there are none, alongside the preservation of traditional medicinal plants and trees through conserving forests.”
  • “To improve the education of our children through increasing classrooms for secondary education, improving the coordination between school board and leadership for better management of school funds, and creating the necessary conditions to accommodate teachers and keep our children in school throughout the year.”
  • “To rehabilitate community roads, to improve communities' access to markets and services, and to advance livelihood and savings opportunities.”

These priorities now move into action following a community-driven planning and execution process during which Namuli Wiwawanana and Legado support were requested to co-coordinate resources and partnerships.


Welcome to the Team

Emma Impink, Director of Strategy and Integration: Emma previously served as Programs Manager at the Southern Tanzania Elephant Program and was a founding member of One Acre Fund's Tanzania's operations—helping to grow the program from serving 1,000 farmers to over 60,000 in the first five years.

Walter Lenolngenje: Walter joins Legado from the NAWIRI program, a multi-sectoral development project focused on malnutrition in northern Kenya. Born in Maralal, he has 30 years of experience living in northern Kenya and brings vital expertise to our work.

Noel Leringato: Noel joins Legado as a lifelong resident of Wamba, with a background in community finance and inclusion. His passion for the work and local leadership brings a tremendous asset to the team.

Networking Updates

We're increasing Legado's visibility to ensure that our work in supporting local communities in building their Thriving Futures continues.
  • The Philanthropy Workshop featured Legado as one of four standout groups working in climate justice globally at their first-ever marketplace event, hosting a presentation by Tita Alvira, Global Director of Thriving Futures, and Majka Burhardt, Executive Director.
  • Anne-Marie Slaughter, former United States Director of Policy Planning and CEO of New America, interviewed Executive Director Majka Buhardt about career, motherhood, and global change-making.
  • Recent articles in Fortune and Business Insider share Legado’s origins and how we believe climate justice helps support Indigenous peoples and local communities to build their own systems to advance their communities on their terms across all of their priorities.
  • The Community Impact Process Coalition, an international group of organizations working to make an equitable and inclusive, community-led process the driver of holistic change that supports thriving people in thriving places, had its first in-person meeting and is building toward a public launch—stay tuned for more!
  • Podcasts from Blue Dot to Working Mom Hour to Next Big Idea and others hosted Executive Director Majka Burhardt to discuss what it means to create Thriving Futures and how Legado came to be.


Interested in seeing our work in Kenya in person?

Join our Legacy Expedition on NOVEMBER 25–December 4, 2023. Visit our website for more information. You can also get the latest from Legado by signing up for updates, and following us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Want to go deeper into Legado’s work? Know a funder or potential partner who might be interested?

Feel free to contact EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Majka Burhardt at 970-290-7822 OR majka@legadoinitiative.org.