||According to recent reports on deforestation control, Brazil’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are successful. This is attributed to a combination of command-and-control style of public regulation and civil society pressure. Looking beyond decreasing deforestation rates reveals a different picture for the future of GHG optimized land use in Brazil. Command-andcontrol regulation seems to work as long as prohibitive measures against deforestation are concerned. However, as soon as tailormade policies for complex issues such as land-use planning are required, the outcomes are ambiguous. Comparing the origins, the actors and the perspectives of three different cases of resource governance in Southern Amazonia, we show that the major challenges of regulation attempts are the lack of transparency and the appropriation of state agencies by powerful groups. Due to institutional weakness, the various regulation efforts fail to consider the system links needed for effective implementation. To conclude, we provide suggestions to possibly overcome the problems through innovative forms of governance.