Around the turn of the century, the area around Lake Poso in Indonesia was wracked with communal conflict that left hundreds of people dead and thousands displaced. In the wake of this violence, local leaders embraced a hydroelectric project they hoped would help unite vying religious communities for a brighter future.Fifteen years later, construction on the 515-megawatt dam is only half complete, and the company has informed the community it will need to reshape the mouth of the lake and dredge the river it feeds.Local fishers fear changes to the lake and river will bring an end to traditional fishing practices that sustain thousands of families, while conservationists fear disruption to a unique and ancient ecosystem brimming with endemic species.Activists have tried to mount a legal challenge to halt the project, but have been told by local authorities that they must first present scientific proof that the project will harm the ecosystem. LAKE POSO, Indonesia – In the aftermath of a violent communal conflict that set neighbor against neighbor around this ancient lake in the mountains of eastern Indonesia, local leaders were eager for projects that promised a brighter future. In 2005, local officials welcomed a $700 million hydroelectric dam project. They hoped it would bring vying religious communities together for a 21st-century push for green progress on the island of Sulawesi. Residents agreed to give up land for the proposed three-level, 515-megawatt dam. That, they believed, was the hard part. But instead of healing the wounds from waves of interreligious violence that had left hundreds dead and thousands displaced, some area residents now say the project is bringing new threats to their communities and livelihoods. In 2018, after more than a decade of planning and construction, and with only half the project completed, the hydropower company told Poso’s 200,000 people that the project required more than just land. The company also needed to terraform the lake’s mouth. “It is as if they were hiding this,” says Christian Bontinge, 64, the elected cultural leader of Tentena, the village that sits on the lake’s sole river outlet. Villagers around the lake say the dam will endanger centuries-old livelihoods built on the ancient, unique ecosystem of Lake Poso. Opponents now face the burden of proving the dam will cause ecological harm, a race against time to collect and present evidence before the earthworks are completed.