Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa is regularly threatened by the occurrence of weather shocks. We wonder whether the way farmers respond to shocks can affect land use and induce deforestation. Reviewing the existing literature, we found that this question has only been marginally studied. Drawing from the adaptation and land-use change literatures, we then expose the mechanisms through which weather shocks can push farmers to induce land-use change, or conversely to foster conservation. As farmers cope with shocks, their responses can cause degradations in ecosystems which could, in the long term, encourage deforestation and land-use change. To prepare for the next growing season, or adapt to climate variability and risk in the longer term, farmers also make structural adjustments in their farm and land-use decisions, which may lead to changes in land holding. They also resort to adaptation strategies that can indirectly affect land-use decisions by affecting households’ resources (labor, income).