Fatih Yilmaz comes from Eastern Anatolia, one of the least developed regions in Turkey. He is a young and dedicated environmentalist both in his school and in his village. He is a founding member of the environment club which is active in tree planting and beautification projects. Together with this Club, he planted over 10,000 trees in his village where most people are illiterate. He initiated an erosion control project in the farm land by forming a barrier with shrubs and trees.
In 1993, he participated in an essay competition organized by the Turkish Foundation for Combatting Soil Erosion, Reforestation and the Protection of the Natural Habitats (TEMA), and his paper on soil erosion: Causes and Losses won second prize. Fatih, in cooperation with TEMA, informed the local community about gully erosion and its prevention.
He continued to be a successful mobilizer of his community and the resources available to them. He organizes workshops to raise environmental awareness, and speaks about environmental problems in local radio and television stations. He also lobbies and gives proposals to the provincial municipality on proper sanitation and infrastructure, in an effort to prevent pollution in the nearby river. Fatih initiated recycling activities in the area, and has contacted the local traffic police to prevent noise pollution.