Environmental groups led by the International Rivers Network have launched a consumer boycott campaign against Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Company’s Discover Card, in an attempt to pressure the US firm to cut its financial ties with the Three Gorges project.

The campaigners are calling for college students in particular to stop using the card, which is heavily marketed to them.

Morgan Stanley officials said that their company had not given any money directly to the project, but activists claim that the company has helped underwrite bonds for the China Development Bank, a funding arm for the Three Gorges, which is a 35% owner of China International Capital Corporation, an investment bank directly involved with the project. This link has been confirmed by Morgan Stanley.