Tamar-ICMBio was created in 1980 by the former Brazilian Institute for Forestry Development (IBDF), which later became the Brazilian Institute of the Environmentand Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA). Tamar-ICMBio is now internationally recognized as one of the most successful projects in marine conservation and serves as a model for other countries. Tamar’s work is highlighted because itdirectly involves coastal communities in its socio-environmental work.
Tamar’s mission is to promote the recovery of the five endangered sea turtle species that occur in Brazil by developingconservation actions, researchadvancements, and through social inclusion programs. Tamarprotects roughly 1,100 km of coastline and oceanic islands through a network of 23 bases throughout nine states. Bases arelocated in important feeding, nesting, development, and resting areas for these animals.
The name Tamar was coined by combining the first syllables of the words tartaruga marinha, which means sea turtle in Portuguese. This abbreviation was necessarydue to the restricted space for the inscriptions on the small metal plates used to identify turtles that were tagged for various studies.
The word Tamarrefers to the Brazilian Sea Turtle Conservation Program run by the Brazilian Center for the Protection and Research of Marine Turtles, associated withthe Biodiversity Directorate of the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity (ICMBio), which is an agency of the Ministry of Environment.
Tamar-ICMBio is co-administered by the Brazilian Center for the Protection and Research of Marine Turtles and the Pro-Tamar Foundation. The Pro-Tamar Foundation is a non-governmental institution founded in 1988 and has been considered a federal public utility since 1996. In 2007,Tamar received the title of a social welfare charity, becoming the first environmental organization with a certificate of philanthropy in Brazil.
The Pro-Tamar Foundation was created as a sea turtle conservationorganization, thus it is responsible for administrative, technical/scientific, fundraising, and management of Tamar’s self-sustenance program. Tamar is built on a partnership between the government anda non-governmental institutionand this co-management system is what makes Tamar successful.
Tamar’s national sponsor is Petrobras. Various international, regional, state, and local governments, NGO’s, and private institutions also support the Project but the most important partnership is the one with local communities throughout Brazil. The active participation of communities is crucial not only for the success of the Project but also for the conservation of sea turtles and their habitats.