Trifinio Fraternidad (El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras)

Trifinio Fraternidad Transboundary Biosphere Reserve

The Trifinio Fraternidad transboundary biosphere reserve is a tri-national biosphere reserve located between El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. It is the first transboundary biosphere reserve in Central America and represents a major contribution to implementation of the Mesoamerican Corridor. It includes key biodiversity areas, such as Montecristo National Park and a variety of forest ecosystems.

A key function of this mountain area is guaranteeing water supply for local communities. It also plays an important role in regional development through the promotion of coffee activities, conifer forest extraction and agro-tourism. This biosphere reserve has received strong support at high political levels (vice-ministers of the three countries), as well as the involvement of local communities in promoting sustainable development.

Designation date: 2011 (extension in Honduras 2016)
Administrative authorities: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales de El Salvador; Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (Guatemala); and the Instituto de Conservación y Desarrollo Forestal, Areas Protegidas y Vida Silvestre (Honduras)
Surface area (terrestrial and marine): 408,831.91 ha
Core area(s): 38,279.08 ha
Buffer zone(s): 80,614.80 ha
Transition area(s): 289,928.03 ha

El Salvador
Surface area:
108,020.91 ha; Core area: 9,458.24 ha; Buffer zone: 28,573.50 ha; Transition area: 69,989.17 ha

Surface area:
22,048.11 ha; Core area: 2,110.44 ha; Buffer zone: 5,316.42 ha; Transition area: 14,621.25 ha

Surface area:
278,762.89 ha; Core area: 26,710.40 ha; Buffer zone: 46,724.88 ha; Transition area: 205,317.61 ha

Latitude: 8°13’N – 8°58’N
Longitude: 76°52’E – 77°34E
Midpoint: 8°32’11”N – 77°14’7”E

Ecological Characteristics

Mexican tree porcupine (Sphiggurus mexicanus)

The Trifinio region is home to a wealth of valuable biodiversity and is important for the water supply of all three countries, as the source of the three largest rivers in Central America. The predominant ecosystems in this biosphere reserve are cloud forest, stationary subtropical dry forest, pine-oak forest and complex wetland features such as Lagunar Güija, an International Ramsar site and a haven for more than 45 globally threatened species.

The rich biodiversity includes faunal species such as the white-nosed coati (Nasua narica), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii), northern crested caracara (Caracara cheriway) and the endangered Geoffroy’s spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi).

Socio-Economic Characteristics

Parque Arqueologico Copan

The tri-national biosphere reserve has a population of approximately 600,000 inhabitants, the majority of whom live in El Salvador and Honduras. The main economic activities are the cultivation of basic grains and coffee, livestock breeding, and tourism and ecotourism.

The area contains many archaeological sites of the Maya's which attract many tourists.

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Last updated in November 2016

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