The Trifinio Fraternidad Biosphere Reserve is a trinational 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.
Trifinio Fraternidad Biosphere Reserve
The Trifinio Fraternidad Biosphere Reserve is a trinational 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 Biological Corridor.
The Montecristo massif is an area where the borders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador meet, and its protection was a joint initiative of these three countries. The area contains many Mayan archaeological sites which attract a large number of tourists.
The Trifinio Fraternidad Biosphere Reserve was created in 1987 to protect the Montecristo's cloud forest and its rare flora and fauna. The protection of the Montecristo massif was part of a broader plan, known as the Trifinio plan, to develop this border region.
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. It includes key biodiversity areas, such as Montecristo National Park and a variety of forest ecosystems.
The predominant ecosystems in the 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).
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 agrotourism.
The trinational 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, tourism and ecotourism.