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Philippus Wester

Regional Programme Manager-Mountain Knowledge & Action Networks, Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks

My role at ICIMOD

My role is to ensure that the initiatives within Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks (MKAN) Regional Programme contribute to enhanced capacity and collaboration among universities, research alliances, policy makers, and youth for sustainable development in the HKH and adjoining regions. In particular, I focus on engaging scientists, researchers, practitioners and policy makers from the HKH region and beyond in comprehensive and thematic assessments and in science-policy-action dialogues.

Philippus Wester

Q:

How do you protect the pulse of the planet?

A:

I protect the pulse of the planet by serving the 240 million inhabitants of the HKH mountains through understanding and leading assessments of the complex interactions between sustainable development and climate change in the HKH mountains and fostering the uptake of science for policy action through HKH science-policy-action dialogues.

Q:

What is your favorite part of the work you do at ICIMOD?

A:

Connecting mountain science and research with policy and practice by working closely with a great team of colleagues and partners.

Q:

What are you passionate about?

A:

The role of assessments in influencing and informing evidence-based decision making. I am particularly honored to have been the coordinator and lead editor of The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People.

Q:

My qualifications

A:

I hold Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in International Land and Water Management from Wageningen University, the Netherlands and a PhD degree in Environmental Sciences, also from Wageningen University. From 2000 to 2012 I was an Assistant Professor, Water Governance and Institutional Change at Wageningen University. Before this, I worked with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Bilateral Associate Expert on Water Management – from 1995 to 1998 in Bangladesh (with the Bangladesh Water Development Board) and in Mexico from 1998 to 2000 (with the International Water Management Institute).

As a researcher, I have designed and executed complex interdisciplinary research projects in Senegal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Mexico, Ethiopia, South Africa, and the Netherlands and have published some 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and 20 book chapters on climate change adaptation, river basin management, water governance and institutional change, participatory groundwater management, and irrigation management transfer. I am a founding board member of Water Alternatives and was Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Water International from 2013 to 2018.

I joined ICIMOD in March 2013 as Chief Scientist, Water Resources Management, and was appointed Regional Programme Manager of ICIMOD’s MKAN Regional Programme in 2018. Since 2016, I am also the Coordinator of the Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP), which produced the first Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment report, published in early 2019.