Johannesburg - South Africa and Vietnam signed a plan to boost conservation and help combat rhino poaching on Monday, the environmental affairs department said.

“The... plan, effective until 2017, gives further impetus to the fight against wildlife crimes, particularly rhino poaching,” it said in a statement.

Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi and Vietnam's deputy agriculture minister Ha Cong Tuan signed the agreement, which was a follow-up to a memorandum of understanding they signed in December.

“The objective... is to promote co-operation in the field of biodiversity management, conservation, and protection,” the department said.

“It is also expected to assist in curbing the scourge of rhino poaching because (it) seeks to promote co-operation in law enforcement, compliance... and other relevant legislation...” - Sapa