Legado: Namuli

The Napalake Family, Mount Namuli, Mozambique

Legado: Namuli is Legado’s flagship program working with the communities encircling Mount Namuli, Mozambique, a key biodiversity area.

In 2014, we brought together world-renowned scientists, local community activists and conservation leaders, and an international climbing team to work collectively to secure a thriving future for Namuli and the people who depend on it — and Legado’s work to activate the power of legacy was born.

Today, our Legado: Namuli field team works daily to help activate legacies with the 10 communities and 12,000 people that encircle Mount Namuli, Mozambique. As a result of our work, community members now have more secure land rights, a 225% increase in access to health care, greater market access for their products, and a vision for improved management of their mountain ecosystem.

Legado: Namuli is a collaboration between Legado and Nitidae, an international organization specializing in landscapes and value chains. 

Watch Namuli — the film

Legado began with a pioneering expedition combining climbing, science, and conservation on Mount Namuli. See the internationally acclaimed film about our unconventional roots.

Elias Faustino, Namuli, Mozambique.

Why Mount Namuli?

Legado was born in Mozambique on Mount Namuli, a sky island which rises sharply in the air straight from the plains. Because it is not attached to a mountain chain, Mount Namuli provides habitat to unique species, flora and fauna and is also the ancestral home to the Lomwe people, holding significant cultural, social and economic influence in the lives of millions.

Decades ago, the communities encircling Mount Namuli lived in harmony with the mountain. However, poverty, climate change and growing populations have pushed communities to seek resources and arable land further and further up the mountainside. Unsustainable natural resource use and agricultural practices were threatening the mountain’s unique biodiversity—specifically through the conversion of forests and grasslands for subsistence and local market agriculture. This threat to biodiversity also posed a significant threat to the long term well-being of the local communities.

Biologists and conservationists from around the world have identified Mount Namuli as a global hotspot: a place of critical biodiversity. Despite the fact that Namuli is designated as a Level 1 Priority Key Biodiversity Area by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, an Important Bird Area, an Important Plant Area, and an Alliance for Zero Extinction site, Namuli has no official conservation status.

In 2014 Legado and Mozambican conservation organization LUPA became the first groups to work with the local Namuli people to create a vision for their future and the future of their mountain and its resources. 

Explore Namuli Today

We’ve teamed up with Google Jump and filmmaker Ross Henry to create a 3-minute Virtual Reality film, Mountains = Water = Life, to take you right to the heart of the mountain.

Mountains = Water = Life tells the story about the power of one mountain and its water — tracking water from the rainforests on top of Mount Namuli all the way on its journey to the Indian Ocean — 200 miles away. Need another reason to check it out? It’s narrated by the Queen of Namuli herself.

So, get your VR goggles ready and check the film out in English above or, you can see the film in Portuguese here. If you don’t have VR goggles, no worries at all – you can still check out the film on YouTube and explore the 360 view of Mount Namuli by clicking and dragging around the screen.

Cool Earth Tackles Climate Change

Cool Earth is one of our longstanding partner organizations that continues to provide Legado with funding to develop sustainable agricultural practices, beekeeping and local leadership that aim to diversify income streams, empower local leadership and help preserve remaining rainforest.

In this short film, Cool Earth highlights how slash and burn itinerant agriculture is the main driver of forest and wildlife loss in Namuli and how Cool Earth, Legado, and the local people who call Mount Namuli home are rising to the challenge of addressing it to make a more sustainable future for all.

Legado: Namuli is a Joint Program of