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Trifinio Fraternidad Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras)

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


Regional network:  Red de Comités y Reservas de Biosfera de Iberoamérica y el Caribe (IberoMAB) 

Ecosystem-based network:




    Surface : 408,831.91 ha

    • Core area(s): 38,279.08 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 80,614.80 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 289,928.03 ha

    Location: 8°32’11”N – 77°14’7”E

    Administrative Authorities

    Linda Pohl
    Vice Ministra de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
    Km 5 Carretera a Santa Tecla
    Calle y Colonia Las Mercedes
    Edificio MARN

    Tel.: +503 22339330

    Fernando Castro/Claudia Santizo
    5ta. Avenida 6-06, Zona 1. Edificio IPM

    Tel.: +502 24226700
    Email: N/A

    Linda Pohl
    Instituto de Conservacion y Desarrollo Forestal Areas Protegidas y Vida Silvestre (ICF)
    Colonia Brisa de Olancho
    Comayagüela Municipio des Distrito Central
    Apartado Postal No. 3481

    Tel.: +504 22237703

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    Ecological Characteristics

    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

    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: April 2021