In case anyone needed evidence that social catastrophes have environmental consequences, Emmanuel Koro has written a pretty horrific overview of the indirect effects of the AIDS epidemic on the African environment:
"[M]ost of rural Africa 's trees are now being lost because of high rates of AIDS-related deaths occurring in rural communities. When someone dies in rural Africa a lot of wood fuel or firewood is consumed when food is prepared for a big number of people. Men also stay up all night outside by the fireside, meaning that more wood is consumed for heating. Most African families spend an average of five days mourning their loved ones, and with it the loss of trees."
Also there are reports of major de-forestation due to coffin building. In some neighborhoods you can find kids selling coffins right on the roadside as its the 'only game in town'.