Fostering Water Security in the Trifinio Region: a TDA/SAP approach.

Project General Information


Fostering Water Security in the Trifinio Region: a TDA/SAP approach.


Ecosystems management

International Waters, Multiple Focal Areas, Biodiversity, Land Degradation

Reducing stress on the transboundary water resources of the Trinational Trifinio region by developing a Strategic Action Plan and enabling the joint management of water and land resources, while building community-based ecosystem resilience to climate variability and change.


1)      The global environmental and/or adaptation problems, root causes and barriers that need to be addressed;




The Trifinio Region consists of 7,541 km2 of ecologically diverse and indivisible terrain, as declared by the Plan Trifinio (explained below), spread over the point where the borders of El Salvador (15.6% of the area), Guatemala (46.5% of the area) and Honduras (37.9% of the area) meet. There are five types of forests found within Trifinio: cloud forests, transitional forests, mixed forest consisting of pines and oaks, subtropical dry forests, and tropical forests. The Trifinio Region is considered, as per the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD), as a priority area for the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor as described in the Regional Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Mesoamerican Biodiversity, as well as being one of the few areas that links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

At the heart of this region is the Montecristo Massif, which is one of the largest (12,000 ha) and least disturbed cloud forests in Central America recognized by its unique biological diversity. This virgin forest harbors many endemic species of flora and fauna that are considered endangered and comprises the upper reaches of three of the most important watersheds in Central America. Also, a key function of this mountain area is guaranteeing water supply for local communities and playing an important role in regional development through the promotion of coffee production, conifer forest extraction and agro-tourism.


The region is home to endangered ecoregions such as the pine oak forest and the mountainous forest of Central America. As per SalvaNatura NGO data, nearly 1,500 species have been inventoried (900 plants, 100 beetles, 50 amphibians and reptiles, 80 mammals and 300 birds among others). Around 70 species use this region as a migration ground and at least 12 of them are endangered migratory species of global significance (e.g. Galapagos Petrel, Guatemala Spikethumb Frog, Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey) henceforth stressing the need of maintaining healthy ecosystems and water resources for the good of regional and global biodiversity. Unfortunately, anthropogenic pressures have reduced the Montecristo Massif to an island surrounded by fragmented habitat. Unsustainable land use practices, encroachment of agriculture on forested area, coupled with the lack of management and enforcement capacity from the governments in the region have resulted in the increased degradation of the Trifinio region’s shared resources.

Full Size Project(FSP)

Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala

GEF Trust Fund

Stage Grant to UNEP Grant to other IA Co-Financing UNEP Fee Other IA Fee
$ 6,600,000.00 $ 0.00 $ 39,788,000.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00
$ 200,000.00 $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $ 19,000.00 $ 0.00

Isabelle Vanderbeck


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)




Executing Agency Category

Partner Category

Name Category Period


Fiscal Year Project activities and objectives met

$ 0.00