With Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11), countries have pledged to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. Within this goal, Target 11.4 aims to “strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage”. 

To monitor this target, the UIS is developing a new internationally-comparable indicator that reflects the total amount per capita each country spends to protect their cultural and natural heritage. It will include public and private sources of expenditure, including investments made at the local, national and international levels, alone or in partnership with civil society organizations.

To produce this indicator, the Institute is working with countries and partners to develop a new survey. For the first time, the Institute will be collecting micro-level information on private spending from a wide range of institutions, including foundations and other non-profit organizations, corporate sponsors and private donations.  

More specifically, Indicator 11.4.1 will measure: “Total expenditure (public and private) per capita spent on the preservation, protection and conservation of all cultural and natural heritage, by type of heritage (cultural, natural, mixed, World Heritage Centre designation), level of government (national, regional, and local/municipal), type of expenditure (operating expenditure/investment) and type of private funding (donations in kind, private non-profit sector, sponsorship).”

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Around the world, culture is acknowledged as the cornerstone of identity, providing a sense of belonging and the social and economic cohesion of communities. It is also the foundation of sustainable...