Rosina Bierbaum (2nd from left), Chair of the Science and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) addressed the 57th Council of Countries this week in Washington, DC. Professor Bierbaum explained how new science warns that the confluence of accelerating climate change and biodiversity loss is bringing us very close to awakening ‘sleeping giants’ or transgressing tipping points in the earth’s systems – e.g., in the arctic, the Amazon, and coral reefs. "Past is not prologue", she said, and "baselines are changing, even as GEF projects are being implemented". STAP is, therefore, helping development agencies screen projects and programs for climate risk, to embed principles of 'durability' so that outcomes endure beyond the 5-year project design, and to include appropriate stakeholders in each stage from design to monitoring and evaluation. Additionally, at this meeting, STAP provided papers to guide designing a Theory of Change, how to use Blockchain in future GEF projects, and how to implement land degradation neutrality.