Philippus Wester

Regional Programme Manager-Mountain Knowledge & Action Networks

Dr Philippus (Flip) Wester joined ICIMOD in March 2013 as Chief Scientist, Water Resources Management, and was appointed Regional Programme Manager of ICIMOD’s Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks (MKAN) in 2018. He is the Coordinator of the Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP), which has produced the first Comprehensive Assessment of the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Action to Sustain a Global Asset (www.hi-map.org). He is the Principal Investigator and Project Leader of Himalayan Adaptation, Water and Resilience (HI-AWARE) Research on Glacier and Snowpack Dependent River Basins for Improving Livelihoods (www.hi-aware.org). Wester has actively contributed to developing and expanding the Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) and to improving the quality of scientific research at ICIMOD. He was Chair of the centre’s Publication and Outreach Committee (POUT) from 2014 to 2018.

From 2000 to 2012 he served as Assistant Professor, Water Governance and Institutional Change at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Before this, he worked with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Bilateral Associate Expert on Water Management – from 1995 to 1998 (with the Bangladesh Water Development Board) and in Mexico from 1998 to 2000 (with the International Water Management Institute). 

His work focuses on climate change adaptation, and land and water resources management from an integrated and transdisciplinary perspective, with attention to the politics and governance of water resources, river basin management, water reform and allocation processes, and irrigation water management. Trained as an interdisciplinary water management researcher with a PhD in water resources management from Wageningen University, he has 25 years of professional experience, in which he has developed a thorough understanding of the interrelationships between the social, technical, political, and physical dimensions of climate change adaptation and water resources management. 

As a researcher Wester has designed and executed complex interdisciplinary research projects in Senegal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Mexico, Ethiopia, South Africa, and the Netherlands and has published 35 peer reviewed journal articles and 20 book chapters on river basin management, water governance and institutional change, participatory groundwater management, and irrigation management transfer. He is a founding board member of Water Alternatives and was Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Water International from 2013 to 2018.