Saskia Werners

Head of Section & Academic Officer

PhD Adaptation to climate change in land use and water management. Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands
Visiting Scientist – The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal
Visiting Scientist - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria
Complex Systems Summer School, Sante Fe Institute, New Mexico, US
MSc with Distinction in Water Resources Engineering and Management, Civil & Offshore Engineering Department, Heriot-Watt University, UK
MSc Environmental Sciences First Class, Vrije Universiteit, the Netherlands
MSc Experimental Physics First Class, Vrije Universiteit, the Netherlands
The Netherlands
Contacts +49 228 815 0236

Saskia E. Werners' main research interest is adaptation to global change in water management.

To capitalize on our growing capacity to project vulnerabilities, risks and uncertainty, she researches how information services can be embedded in decision-making to provide actors with actionable knowledge at the right moment for adaptive land and water management. Her research covers both short-term adaptive decision making and longer-term adaptation pathway development. By working together and integrating actor perspectives, Dr. Werners aims to increase the actionability of research and empower actors to respond adaptively to change, for example, through experiments with digital technology, such as crowd-sourcing and sharing of weather forecasts. Dr. Werners’ vision is to create climate-resilient development pathways together with actors. This requires conceptual development, as well as capacity-building and offering decision-support. Building on the VARMAP Section’s existing strengths in vulnerability assessment, risk management and adaptive planning, the Section can provide decision support on when to do what towards sustainability and resilient societies. Education and capacity building are necessary elements of this vision for connecting science, policy and UN(U) issues. Next to her commitment to UNU-EHS, Dr. Werners is proud to remain affiliated with Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands.


  • Editorial board of the Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences
  • 2005 – present: Specialist Integrated Water Management and Climate Adaptation / Assistant Professor Adaptive Water Management, Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands
  • 2002 - Policy Advisor Global Environmental Policy Division; Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Netherlands. Spokesperson at WTO, European Commission and OECD. Special focus on Environment & Trade, Agriculture and Services
  • 2001 - Coordinator e-Forum; Directorate for Strategic Policy Development (Forum); Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Netherlands
  • 1997-2001 - Advisor Integrated Water Management; Resource Analysis, the Netherlands. Projects in Europe, India, Bangladesh and the Caribbean

Research Interests

  • adaptation
  • Adaptive planning
  • Climate resilient development pathways