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Colombia: Church launches Palm Sunday campaign to save parrots

 The Catholic Church in Colombia joined forces with environmentalists yesterday in an initiative to save a unique species of parrot. There are believed to be only about 540 yellow-eared parrots left, nesting in wax palms on the slopes of the Andes. Traditionally, branches of the trees have been cut for Palm Sunday services. But this year the Church has urged parishioners to use the leaves of another species. It has also handed out thousands of seedlings to promote the cultivation of other palms. A Church spokesman, Monsignor Fabian Marulanda, said: "We have a slogan: God pardons always, man pardons sometimes, but nature never does." He added: "Every abuse of nature you pay for, sooner or later." Campaign organiser Luz Cortes said: "We cannot expect that such a strongly-held tradition will change overnight. But if we don't do something, the wax palm and the yellow-eared parrot will disappear from the planet." Surce: BBC/ATN