UNITED NATIONS, July 11 (Xinhua) -- A United Nations (UN) official warned about the severeness of current urban environmental problems such as air pollution and solid waste at a forum here Wednesday.
About 91 percent of the global urban population is breathing unclean air, said Benjamin Rae with the Sustainable Development Goal Monitoring Section of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), at the on-going UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
"In 2016, 4.2 million people died from ambient air pollution," Rae said at a panel discussion with the theme of "Goal 11 -- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable."
Managing solid waste "remains a major urban environmental challenge" in several regions, while damage to housing due to natural disasters has risen significantly between 1990 and 2013, Rae said.
The forum is a main UN platform on sustainable development with a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals at a global level.
The forum, which kicked off Monday at the UN headquarters, takes stock of the progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, and will conclude on July 18.
More than 80 ministers and vice ministers, as well as 2,500 non-state actors, will attend the eight-day forum.