The problems of environment and evaluation of natural capital belong to the
phenomenology of externalities, and the requirements of environmental economics are ever
more oriented towards the elaboration of the ecological-economic category of the
externalization of internal expenses, wherefrom reasons for the introduction of ecologicaleconomic instruments, before all payments for pollutions, ensue.
Demystification of the negative conviction relating ecological payments as taxes is
very important, since it must be shown that ecological payments correct, mitigate or remove
Environmental protection is a complex system and it consists in a set of rules,
measures and instruments that are applied for the surveillance of pollution sources, and
shaping of instruments for environmental protection is a complex process intended for the
accomplishment of established ecological goals. Among all instruments available for
bridging the gap of internalization and exerting a significant effect on polluters to diminish
their emissions of pollution, the ecological and economic ones are most important.
The results of our investigation have demonstrated that it is necessary to reshape the
current set of instruments regarding protection of vital functions of nature and an efficient
environmental protection, and one of the key cognitions is that the scientific and professional
public must not be excluded from the appraisals of creating and redesigning the instruments
of environmental protection. These assertions have their foundation in the premise that the
significance of elements of the social dimension in sustainable development is to a great
extent determined by the level of environmental degradation and reduction in capacity of
The paper, approach and data processing of the conducted research offer a new model
and new elements of methodology for establishing the state and quality of the environment,
whereby social-economic criteria of research (a socio-economic laboratory) are introduced
into the fundamental analysis of the condition of crucial media of the environment, but also
into shaping a more efficacious instrument set of protection. In such a way, a substantial
contribution is given to the affirmation of a holistic and inter-disciplinary approach in the
investigation and understanding the phenomenon of contemporary environmental reality,
especially the central media of the environment (water, air, soil).
Ključne reči: pollution, ecological damage, internalization of externalities, instruments for environmental protection, decentralization.