Environmental regime shifts are abrupt shifts between contrasting ecosystem states when environmental conditions cross specific thresholds. Increasingly areas in the Horn of Africa undergo "Forest to Grassland Savanna" and "Bush Encroachment" regime shifts. The societal impacts are huge. Regime shifts can disrupt fundamental environmental services such as vegetation, water and biodiversity, erode human livelihoods, and contribute to human displacement and political fragility.
Two universities in Ethiopia's "Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region", Bonga and Jinka, are keen on strengthening cooperation with Danish research environments to enhance their research capacity in responding to environmental regime shift situations. On 4 June, 2020, NORDECO co-organized a workshop with Bonga University, Jinka University, and Danish and international partners to discuss and plan collaborative activities. Other participants from Denmark included the Danish Institute for International Studies and the University of Copenhagen. The international participants were researchers from Stockholm Resilience Centre and UNEP-WCMC in Cambridge.
The invasive prosopis (Prosopis juliflora, Fabaceae), a decidious, leguminous thorn tree species. Together with CO2 fertilization
and changes in herbivore numbers and fire, prosopis expansion is leading to bush encroachment across large areas in southern Ethiopia.