IATE Term of the Week: forest ratio

July 21, 2017 11:19 am

This July, the EP Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety approved a legislative proposal that states that European Union Member States are obliged to “compensate for emissions caused by deforestation” (European Parliament 2017b), since forests have a significant role in maintaining ecosystems. In the context of this proposal and the recent forest fires in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Croatia, the term forest ratio has been chosen as this week’s IATE Term of the Week.


Forests provide numerous ecosystem services: they help to protect the soil from erosion, form part of the water cycle, protect biodiversity by providing a habitat for numerous species, and regulate the local climate. Healthy forests are also crucial for fighting global climate change, because they capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (European Parliament 2017b).

During the plenary session in September, members of the European Parliament will vote on these plans (European Parliament 2017b).

This proposal is especially relevant, since Europe has been plagued by forest fires recently. Last June, “tens of thousands of hectares” were burnt in Portugal with “at least 64 people killed and another 250 injured” (Euronews, 2017a) and in Spain, the Doñana National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, was threatened by wildfires (Euronews 2017b). Additionally, this July, “pine forests and hectares of woodland” were devastated in the Campania region of Italy (Euronews 2017c) and this week, firefighters have been tackling “several forest fires along the Adriatic” in Croatia (Euronews 2017d).

IATE defines forest ratio as the “ratio of forest land to total land area.” The forest coverage in the European Union is 183 million hectares, which represents 43% of the total land area. Did you know that 70% of the EU’s forested areas can be found in only seven countries (Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden)? (European Parliament 2017b)

Here you can see the entry for forest ratio in IATE:

IATE entry on forest ratio

Contribute to IATE! We would appreciate your contribution to update this term in your language. An IATE terminologist of the relevant language will be in charge of the validation of contributions and, thus, a delay is to be expected.

IATE Term of the Week Forest ratio banner

We suggest that you check some previous IATE Terms of the Week that relate to the environment:

We also encourage you to check related glossaries through our Glossary Links tool and through our recently-updated EU Glossaries‘ list!

Enjoy terminology learning and have a nice weekend!

Written by Elke Steinhauser & Pedro RamosElke Steinhauser – Study visitor at the Terminology Coordination Unit and Master student at the University of Luxembourg. Elke has a Bachelor’s degree in German-French studies, she is now enrolled in the trilingual Master in ‘Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts’ and works as a free-lanced teacher for German as a foreign language. Her interests lie in Intercultural and Multilingual Communication and associated training methods. Pedro RamosTranslator, Social Media and Content Manager, Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg).


  • Euronews (2017a) Scorched aftermath of deadly Portuguese wildfires. Available at: http://bit.ly/2uhk3jR (Accessed 20 July 2017)
  • Euronews (2017b) Spain: More than 2,000 people flee forest fire. Available at: http://bit.ly/2vHs3IU (Accessed 20 July 2017)
  • Euronews (2017c) Fires flare on slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Available at: http://bit.ly/2gPpphH (Accessed 20 July 2017)
  • Euronews (2017d) Croatia battles forest fires. Available at: http://bit.ly/2ugWaqU (Accessed 20 July 2017)
  • European Parliament (2017a) Climate change: plans to help forests remove CO2. Available at: http://bit.ly/2uyRQFQ (Accessed 18 July 2017)
  • European Parliament (2017b) Climate change: how MEPs want to protect our forests (infographic). Available at: http://bit.ly/2tBNyJK (Accessed 18 July 2017)

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