The UN will seek ways to toughen environmental laws this week to crack down on everything from illegal trade in wildlife to mercury poisoning and hazardous waste.

The UN Environment Assembly, a new forum of all nations including environment ministers, business leaders and civil society, will meet in Nairobi this week to work on ways to promote greener economic growth.

That drive includes giving environmental laws more teeth. “We often have environmental legislation that is well intentioned but is not effective,” said Achim Steiner, the head of the UN Environment Programme. Many countries sign up for environmental treaties but are often slow to ratify and fail to enforce them in domestic laws. – Reuters