Yesterday began the fifth and final session of the Inter-Governmental Negotiation Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, which is aiming to deal with increasing levels of the usage of mercury in small-scale gold mining, with the aim of creating some sort of globally-binding resolution. The usage of mercury for such purposes has doubled since 2005, meaning there's more of it in the lakes and rivers, more of it in the fish, and more of it on your dinner table. Guyana is part of those talks along with roughly 130 other nations (I can't get an exact list of attendees); with gold their largest export, they've been criticized for not doing enough to keep things from getting to the point they have, and they've been arguing that their gold miners should get an exemption from whatever agreement is made until an easier and cheaper alternative to mercury can be found.
Though Guyana isn't the largest emitter of mercury- unsurprisingly, that honor goes to China, which is responsible for 30% of all human emissions (human emissions make up about 30% of mercury emissions), and the Asian nations are as usual wondering why they ought to be held responsible- they do attract a significant amount of attention from Western firms looking to open mines in the country, and so the need to get buy-in from them is still crucial.
A rather unlikely way to get buy-in from Guyana: US statehood. No, really. There's a movement in Guyana to become the 51st state, on the theory that there are more Guyanese living overseas than in Guyana itself, and the bulk of that population lives in the United States. The Guyana Diaspora Project, sponsored by the International Organization for Migration, disagrees, and is conducting a survey to get a handle on what exactly the numbers are.
Somehow doubt that 51 will be a relevant number, though.