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Joanna Lumley hails victory for common sense in campaign win as she thanks fans for help

Joanna Lumley discusses climate change with Sacha Dench

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Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley has been tirelessly campaigning for the more environmentally-conscious methods for disposing of explosives, as the blasts previously threatened marine life. Speaking as part of the Stop Sea Blasts campaign, the 75-year-old star lauded the decision as “a victory of common sense”.


Legendary actress Joanna teamed up with marine conservation charities to call for a change in how unexploded war munitions retrieved from the sea are disposed of.

This new method will see the explosives being neutralised in a quieter fashion in order to cause minimal disruption to marine habitats. 

Following a statement of government support for the idea, Lumley described how “thrilled” she was whilst speaking as part of the Stop Sea Blasts campaign.

“I’m thrilled that today the government has, as far as I understand it, for the first time, clearly stated that using more environmentally friendly methods of clearing these unexploded bombs such as low order deflagration is the way forward,” she said.

“This is a victory for common sense. I thank the ministers for taking this bold step as well as all the supportive MPs and peers who have got behind this.

“And, of course, I thank the 120,000 people who supported this campaign.”

This statement comes after the government published a policy paper published on Tuesday, claiming it supported the use of “lower noise alternatives” in place of what it calls “high order detonation”. 

This change in perspective comes with the recognition that marine wildlife can be injured by the sound from blasts.

Stop Sea Blasts clearly warned of how detonating unexploded devices threatens the survival of whales and dolphins in their campaign, which helped highlight the damage the issue currently causes.

A technological alternative to the loud explosions is low-order deflagration, which the group says involves a small magnesium cone being fired at the device “causing its explosive contents to ‘burn out’ from the inside”.

When model Joanna met with like-minded people near Westminster on Tuesday afternoon, she said that the deflagration method is 100 times less damaging, adding that adopting it was a “no-brainer”. 

A large amount of rockets, torpedoes and sea mines are still present after the two world wars, and it is important that these devices are dealt with before structures in the sea such as wind farms are built.

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This is not the first time that Joanna has spoken up about environmental conservation. 

In the recent climate change documentary Human Swan, which sees Joanna follow Australian biologist and world record-breaking conservationist Sacha Dench around Britain during her Climate Change challenge, the actress urged people to travel less. 

Sacha, known as the Human Swan, made headlines as she began her journey travelling around the world by paramotor, an engine-powered paraglider.

In the documentary Joanna said: “It’s so easy to wring out hands in despair, but I promise you, if we all act together, it’s not too late to make a difference.

“The Human Swan is rising to the challenge. Shall we follow her?”

Joanna’s plea to reduce our carbon footprint by cutting down on travel left many viewers shocked, as the star  has fronted several travel programmes across the world herself. 

Aside from her climate activism, Joanna has also publicly supported Gurkhas, the exiled Tibetan people and government, the Khonds, indigenous people of India, and the Prospect Burma charity, which offers grants to Burmese students.

The icon also supports animal welfare groups, such as Compassion in World Farming and Vegetarians’ International Voice for Animals.


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