Environmental justice? The story of two projects.

This paper explores some major issues of justice in environmental conservation policy and practice in two projects situated in the eastern Himalayas and eastern India. The first is in the state of Meghalaya, India and the second across the frontier in China in Yunnan Province. Both projects were designed and financed by international donors, negotiated with the national governments and implemented in co-operation with local institutions. They deal with four related environmental conservation issues in similar ways – forest management, the cultivation of sloping lands, watershed management and shifting cultivation. However, the outcomes of these two projects in terms of environmental justice were profoundly different. The politics of translation between external donor framings of justice and national governments(and their lower level administrations) are key to explaining why.