Development of JFA

JFA Consulting was originally set up by James Firebrace in 1998 with a series of significant contracts in the oil and gas sector, supporting many of the major operators in the North Sea.  This work focused on the major social and environmental challenges of the sector during that period – the debate around decommissioning and dumping, the long term legacy of the industry, and development of a serious dialogue with stakeholders moving everyone on from entrenched earlier positions.

Much work was also at the sectoral level working with the pan-industry body Oil and Gas UK (formerly UKOOA) and the government-business initiative PILOT, developing the industry’s first sectoral sustainability strategy aimed at addressing the industry’s short and longer term economic, environmental and social challenges.

Since 2005 the practice has taken on primarily a Middle East and North African focus, beginning with a major two-year assignment with Yemen LNG (majority shareholder Total, the French oil major), developing and delivering the company’s policy and programmes for addressing projected impacts on livelihoods, biodiversity and cultural heritage. On the back of this experience JFA became involved in the design and negotiation of agreements for a national programme aimed at implementing zoning plans and developing coastal livelihoods particularly in sustainable fishing and eco- and cultural tourism, initially at selected pilot sites.

In 2008, JFA in partnership with Ramboll, assembled and led a diverse consortium of expertise to support Libya in addressing key long-term challenges in the "Green Mountain" region involving integrated regional planning and the development of sustainable livelihoods especially those deriving from cultural and nature tourism, and a strategic move towards carbon neutrality.  

In 2010, JFA initiated with the national authorities and local private sector a programme aimed at proposing solutions to the economic and social issues relating to the provision of desalinated water to the city of Taiz in the centre of Yemen's industrial heartland, now facing a major water crisis.  Following a major survey, the JFA team of national and international water experts, proposed options for ensuring affordability, urban distribution options to ensure economic sustainability, a public-private partnership model attractive to regional donors, and low carbon options also providing energy security.

In Jan 2011, JFA Consulting incorporated a a limited company, James Firebrace Associates Ltd, while continuing to use JFA Consulting as its trading name.