The value placed on the world’s monuments and natural vistas is arguably immeasurable. As a tangible proxy, SDG Indicator 11.4.1 can help us get a sense of how much countries invest in preserving these irreplaceable legacies of humanity in purely monetary terms. In these tumultuous times of climate change and in line with the sustainable development agenda, saving the world’s cultural wonders as a testimony of our heritage is paramount. The 2021 Survey of expenditure on cultural and natural heritage (SDG 11.4.1) launches today to collect data for the global monitoring of this indicator. The questionnaires and related materials will be available in English, French and Spanish on the UIS website at: (see Related links box on right).

SDG 11.4.1 is the only direct culture indicator of the SDGs, which calls on countries to “strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard cultural and natural heritage.” Key insights from the 2020 data collection cycle were encapsulated in the report Tracking investment to safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.  

SDG Indicator 11.4.1 is defined as Total expenditure per capita spent on the preservation, protection and conservation of all cultural and natural heritage, by source of funding (public, private), type of heritage (cultural, natural) and level of government (national, regional and local/municipal). This indicator is vital to global efforts to gauge the overall magnitude of investment in heritage. For this second iteration of the survey, UIS invites countries to share their information to support evidence-based policy formulation for preserving natural and cultural heritage.